A recent Washington Policy Center blog series highlights four labor bills that have been dominating early proceedings of the 2019 Legislative Session.
The bills, opposed by Washington Retail, could promote unionization of independent contractors who provide a variety of services to retailers. Federal law currently prohibits unionization of temporary contractors such as delivery drivers but would allow it if the bills enabled such workers to be reclassified as employees of those who hire them.
Two other bills known as the Universal Worker Protections Act are HB 1601 and SB 5690. These would establish unelected “workers’ boards” that could establish wages and working conditions. These bills would pertain to service providers including at-home caregivers, drivers, sales people and various certified professionals.
WR’s opposition has to do with added costs the bills would cause that would have ripple effects on hiring and maintaining payrolls. Many independent contractors prefer to work for themselves.