The effort by state business groups to challenge I-1433, the state’s recently passed minimum wage and paid sick leave law. has come to an end.
The effort by state business groups to challenge the state’s recently passed minimum wage and paid sick leave law has come to an end.
A coalition of business groups, including the National Federation of Independent Business, Washington Retail Association and Washington Farm Bureau, along with three local businesses, said Friday that it would not appeal a judge’s decision upholding Initiative 1433, passed by Washington voters last November.
The coalition had challenged I-1433 in court, saying among other things, that the initiative violates the state constitution by addressing more than one subject matter: both minimum wage and sick leave.
Earlier this month, Kittitas County Superior Court Judge Scott Sparks rejected that challenge, saying the plaintiffs had failed to establish that I-1433 violated the Washington State constitution, and ruling that I-1433 was about labor standards generally, which both minimum wage and paid sick leave fall under.
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Patrick Connor, Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a statement issued Friday that the judge’s decision was disappointing and that it would open the door to “political consulting sleight-of-hand.”
Nevertheless, the coalition decided not to spend money and time on an appeal, given that “we face long odds,” Connor said in a phone interview Friday.
He said it was doubtful the state Supreme Court would rule in their favor, given that the court had previously decided that a proposition approved in 2013 by SeaTac voters to raise the minimum wage and require paid sick leave did not violate the single-subject rule.
I-1433 raises the state’s minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020. The first pay jump occurred in January, raising the minimum wage from $9.47 to $11 an hour.
It also requires employers to allow workers to earn paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked, starting in 2018.