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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 30, 2019 10:44 AM
From: Representative Patty Kim and Rep. Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: One Fair Wage
Imagine the immense responsibility of the worker that cares for our elderly parents and grandparents, or the dedicated person that cares for your child while you’re at work. We entrust these hard working people to comfort crying babies, watch over our seniors suffering from dementia, and assist students with learning or physical disabilities.

These types of jobs are incredibly rewarding, but can also be very stressful and demanding because of the importance of their duties. Sadly, too many people in these careers do not earn a living wage. They have the backs of our families every day, so we need to make it a point to have theirs.

This is why we intend to introduce a bill to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour. The wage will continue to increase each year until it reaches $15 per hour and then will be tied to the consumer price index. In addition, our bill would set the tipped wage to the same level - ensuring all workers get paid a living wage.

While tipping coupled with the tipped wage remains current practice in the United States, it has created a system of unfair pay that disproportionately affects women and people of color—a system that has roots in America’s ugly history of slavery and racial discrimination. Additionally, a tipped wage system promotes the objectification of workers, as people in these careers experience sexual harassment at rates five times higher than the national average because they endure inappropriate gestures, comments, and touching to make a living.

The bill will also provide for the following important changes:
  • Eliminating the preemption on municipal wage ordinances, which ties the hands of our local governments.
  • Guarding against wage theft by ensuring that the Department of Labor & Industry may recover wages and penalties for all violations of the act, not just when a complaint is filed.
  • Increasing monetary penalties for violations, which in some cases have not been updated since 1968.
  • Bringing enforcement in line with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act by allowing workers to receive damages, in addition to unpaid wages.
  • Requiring the Department of Human Services to calculate and publish the impact of a minimum wage increase on its programs, and mandate that savings be used to increase child care and home and community-based services to ensure that these providers are able to pay the increased minimum wage.
Please join us in righting the wrongs of the past by creating One Fair Wage.

Introduced as HB1215