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Published on Friday, January 29, 2016

Preempting cities from enacting minimum wage and sick leave laws

On Monday, February 1, the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee will hear two proposals that would preempt cities from enacting minimum wage laws.

The first proposal, SB 6087, increases the state minimum wage. The current state minimum wage is $9.47, and each year it is adjusted for inflation. Under this bill, employers who provide medical benefits would continue to be covered under the current state minimum wage. However, the minimum wage for employers who do not offer medical benefits would increase over five years until it reaches $13 per hour on January 1, 2020. Employers would be able to take credits against the new minimum wage for tipped employees and sick leave. The proposal would not impact current minimum wage ordinances enacted by cities, but cities would be preempted from enacting new minimum wage laws.

The second proposal, SB 6578, prohibits cities, towns, and port districts from enacting any laws or regulations related to private employer wages, hours of work, employee retention, or leave. It also voids any current local laws or regulations on these issues.

AWC will testify in opposition to the preemption as cities have clearly supported the need to retain existing local authority in this area.

Categories: Personnel