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Minimum wage, ‘tip penalty’ bills will get a hearing on Jan. 31

OLYMPIA (Jan. 27) — As reported earlier in The Stand, Republicans have introduced a package of bills that are all aimed at creating a lower state minimum wage. Sponsored by Rep. Cary Condotta (R-East Wenatchee) and the other GOP members of the House Labor Committee, the three bills are scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. in the House Committee on Labor & Workforce Development.

HB 2496 would tie annual inflationary adjustments to a CPI index that increases at a slower rate than the current index.

HB 2497 would establish a “tip penalty” in Washington State, whereby employers would be allowed to pay a sub-minimum wage to workers who earn tips.

HB 2498 would block annual minimum wage increases whenever the state unemployment rate exceeds 7.5%.

UNITE HERE Local 8, which represents workers in the restaurant and hospitality industries who would be harmed by “tip penalties” and the other bills, is urging supporters to attend the hearing and express opposition. The Washington State Labor Council joins Local 8 in strongly opposing all three bills as attacks on the lowest-paid workers in our state. They are in direct contradiction to the wishes of Washington voters, who overwhelmingly established the existing minimum wage law and its annual inflationary adjustments.

Check out KING 5 TV’s report this week about the “tip penalty” bill, which would lower the minimum wage for workers who earn tips by nearly $2 an hour:

Learn more about the history of our state’s minimum wage law here.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!