A broad coalition of business, trucking, and agriculture organizations is working to educate members of the State Senate of the implications of SHB 1762, a proposal the Teamster’s Union brought forward. The bill would regulate quotas and enforce safety, meal, and rest break requirements in most warehouses. The coalition is reinforcing warehouse employers’ commitment to the safety and well-being of their employees, and LNI’s data on claims shows that safety performance continues to improve in the sector.
The coalition also points out that the Department of Labor and Industries (LNI) already has the authority to enforce meal breaks, rest breaks, and safety conditions in warehouses. Recent media reports demonstrate L&I has been able to take enforcement actions under the current rules and regulations. It should be noted that SB 5217 empowers LNI to establish regulations aimed at minimizing musculoskeletal injuries and grants L&I additional regulatory measures if such injuries surpass twice the state’s claims rate within warehouses. (Note: WR anticipates that SB 5217 will pass the House.)
Lastly, many legislators have stated that their goal for legislation is to ensure transparency and understanding of performance metrics by employees in warehouses. If so, the coalition is urging the Senate to reject the Teamster’s proposal and revert to the original bill, SB 5348, which was heard early in the session.
WR expects this issue to continue evolving over the session’s final weeks.