It used to be that unionizing a work place was done for the benefit of the workers. The goal was to help workers negotiate better wages, benefits and working conditions. Today, unionizing a work place is done just as much (if not entirely) for the benefit of the union.
Olympia City Councilmember Jim Cooper has proposed sweeping labor regulations that would mandate a $15 minimum wage and paid sick leave for all workers in the city, remove businesses’ freedom and flexibility to operate with a part-time workforce and restrict how employers schedule employee shifts. Clearly the proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance” is about much more than just a minimum wage.
The previous four posts in this five-part series have analyzed the provisions of the proposal. This final post explores how the new regulations would be enforced.
The final provision examined in this five part series dissecting the complex provisions of the proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance,” mandates paid sick leave for all workers in the city. Introduced by City Councilmember Jim Cooper, the Olympia proposal is alarmingly broad and open-ended.
Shift scheduling is emerging as another battleground issue when it comes to how much discretion employers should have to run their business. Part 3 of the five part series on the proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance,” covers the three prongs of restrictions and regulations the ordinance would place on Olympia employers when scheduling their
Continuing the five part series dissecting the complex provisions of the proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance,” is the provision that reflects a growing trend to remove employers’ independent decision-making rights by requiring additional hours be offered to current part-time employees before hiring additional part-time employees.
Earlier this week I blogged about a proposal by Olympia City Councilmember Jim Cooper to force every employer to pay a $15 minimum wage, provide paid sick leave, give 3 weeks notice of scheduled shifts, allow a minimum 11 hours of rest between shifts and require employers to give current employees the opportunity to work additional hours before hiring additional employees.
A recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journal exploring the impacts of the city’s new $15 minimum wage law concludes the predictions of an economic hit on businesses in Seattle never happened. Instead, the article, “Apocalypse Not: $15 and the cuts that never came,” says the industry most impacted by the new wage law—the restaurant industry—has actually grown:
“…the thunder in the city’s already booming restaurant scene contrasts with the early fears of shuttered cafes and empty tables.”
Hoping to follow in the footsteps of SeaTac, City of Olympia Councilmember Jim Cooper will introduce legislation that would not only mandate a $15 minimum wage, but impose a slew of new labor regulations on business owners in the city.
In three months, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the potentially precedent-setting and game-changing Freidichs v California’s Teacher Association case. The case was filed by California teachers who argue the compulsory union dues they are forced to pay are unconstitutional. If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiff, Rebecca Freidichs, individual teachers would have the right to decide for themselves whether to join and support a union.
As voters in Tacoma and Spokane prepare to decide whether to increase their cities’ minimum wage, $15 Now has set the rural city of Yakima in its sights.
The union-backed movement plans a rally today in Yakima to launch their campaign to force employers in that city to pay all workers a $15 minimum wage. The group, Working Washington, has called for Yakima's agricultural, fast food and other entry-level-wage workers to join them in demanding the same $15 wage as workers in Seatac and Spokane.
Yesterday the Spokane City Council announced it has put off considering a paid sick leave proposal until next year's budget work is complete. The City says the decision is in response to numerous requests for “additional time to public input and a more detailed analysis of potential economic and community health impacts.”
In June, Moody’s Investor Service warned a higher minimum wage could erode profit margins in the U.S. restaurant business. And while supporters of a high minimum wage like to say employers can afford to absorb the reduced profits, the reality is much different.
In the wake of the $15 minimum wage movement, some employers are opting to voluntarily increase the wages of their workers. Implementing across the board minimum wages for all of their workers, these employers say the higher wages will boost morale, improve productivity and reduce turnover. Whatever their motivation, such announcements usually come with a fair amount of media attention praising the employer’s generosity while minimum wage advocates hail the decision as proof every employer can afford to pay a higher wage.