Business Climate

WPC's Center for Small Business focuses on improving Washington's small business climate by working closely with business owners and policymakers. The Center provides accurate information and analysis on the state's regulatory climate, tax structure, health insurance systems, and more.

Business Climate Blog

With a $1.5 billion annual price tag, it's no wonder unions want special exemption from paid leave bills

January 26, 2015 in Blog

The House Labor Committee is considering paid sick leave and paid vacation bills.  Let’s examine the costs these mandates would impose on the non-union businesses that would be required to provide them.

HB 1356 would require employers with 5 or more employees to pay employees for 5, 7 or 9 days of sick leave per year, depending on the size of the company. 

Bills imposing paid sick leave, paid vacation and triple pay for working Thanksgiving=hypocrisy, hypocrisy and more hypocrisy

January 26, 2015 in Blog

What do bills mandating paid sick leave (HB 1356), paid vacation (HB 1163) and triple pay for employees who work on Thanksgiving Day (HB 1694) have in common?  Besides increasing the costs for employers, all three bills exempt workers from these benefits if they are a union member.

Spokane group preps to push “Worker Bill of Rights”

January 26, 2015 in Blog

The labor-backed group Envision Spokane is reportedly working on a “Worker Bill of Rights” for the City of Spokane.  Founded by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Envision Spokane is comprised of more than two-dozen unions, community organizations and groups with ties to national organizations.

Two minimum wage bills, same result

January 23, 2015 in Blog

The battle to increase the state’s minimum wage is in full swing in the Legislature.  In just the second week of the Legislative Session, two bills have already been introduced to require employers to pay every worker a higher minimum wage.

Agency study on State's economic climate doesn't paint a complete picture of business costs

January 22, 2015 in Blog

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council recently released its annual “Washington State Economic Climate Study.”  The report is charged with weighing a series of benchmarks under four main indicators (Innovation Drivers, Business Performance, Economic Growth and Competitiveness, Quality of Life) that are supposed to characterize the competitive environment of the state and measuring how Washington compares with other states.

National union boss says Right-to-Work helps unions

December 19, 2014 in Blog

Bucking the conventional union argument that right-to-work laws are union-busting, the Secretary-Treasurer of the United Auto Workers says right-to-work laws are good.  In fact, the national labor boss says he actually prefers to organize in a right-to-work state because it helps unions:

“This is something I’ve never understood, that people think right-to-work hurts unions…to me, it helps them.”

New Study Shows Minimum Wage Hike Killed 1.4 Million Jobs for Low-Skilled Workers

December 18, 2014 in Blog

A National Bureau of Economic Research study released late last month by economists with the University of California at San Diego found that mandatory increases in the federal minimum wage between 2007 and 2009 had “significant, negative effects on the employment and income growth of targeted workers.”  The study shows hikes in the federal minimum wage during the Great Recession led to the loss of approximately 1.4 million jobs held

Will Tacoma follow in the footsteps of SeaTac and Seattle?

December 17, 2014 in Blog

Yesterday the Tacoma City Council took the first step toward approving an ordinance that would require all employers to provide paid sick and safety leave to all workers.   The mandatory paid leave proposal passed the first hurdle, a “first reading” of the ordinance, with unanimous support from the Council.  The proposal will next face a final vote of the Council, likely sometime in January. 

King County Officials Cancel Proposed Fee Increase on Wireless Services

December 8, 2014 in Blog

In October, I wrote about King County officials’ proposal to dramatically increase the Right of Way (ROW) use fee they charged to wireless phone providers.  In their proposed 2015-16 county budget, some County officials wanted to increase the fee from the current $2,000 to $5,000 to a staggering $10,000, with a 4% automatic increase every year.  The fee is ultimately paid by cell phone customers in the form of higher service prices.

Part 3: Why L&I’s “Lower Than First Proposed” .8% Workers’ Comp Tax Increase Is Not a Great Deal for Employers or Workers

December 3, 2014 in Blog

While the seemingly “modest” or “measured” .8% increase in workers’ compensation taxes for 2015 appear unremarkable and have garnered little criticism, our neighbors to the south continue to enjoy significant rate decreases.