by Monica Blackwood, Columnist, Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal
The last half of 2017 saw companies scrambling to understand and prepare for Washington’s paid sick leave law, and employers continued to educate themselves on the new regulations into the summer of 2018. While that flurry of activity was happening, there was another bill which Gov. Jay Inslee signed: Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave Law.
We are now the fifth state in the nation to pass such a law, after California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York. And, the law’s “go live” date is fast approaching – employers need to comply by January 1, 2019.
A quick summary about this law: For the year 2019, funding will be built up into the plan. Starting January 1, 2020 eligible employees are allowed 12 weeks of family or medical leave. This includes mothers and fathers welcoming a child into their home either by birth or adoption; or to take care of themselves or a family member (defined as a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent or grandchild) who has a serious health condition, or for a family member injured due to military service. In some situations, that paid leave can be extended to up to 18 weeks.
Read the rest of the story here…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Monica Blackwood is president and CEO of Westsound Workforce, with offices in Gig Harbor and Poulsbo. Contact her at email@example.com.
by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach
Lately, I have noticed that the seeming inability to have reasoned debate within the political climate has spilled over into the workplace. There seems to be a “my way or the highway” mentality seeping into professional environments which is not productive. People are taking sides and staking claim to their view with no room for understanding or compromise. I’m reminded that whenever one side is “right,” it automatically makes the other side “wrong” and no one likes to be wrong.
I think the first step toward better understanding of one another’s points-of-view is to stop rushing to judgment. Just stepping back a beat and pretending there might be another approach or that – gasp – you might be wrong, are worthwhile steps. Being wrong is not the end of the world, it just means you have more to learn and isn’t that true of all of us? If we listened without judgment we might actually hear what the other side is saying.
If you are ready to practice, start with questions. “What” questions are usually the best and most effective for not conveying judgment. For example:
- What makes you say that?
- Tell me a little about how you came to that decision, belief, position, idea, etc.?
- What other ways have you looked at?
- Would you be open to a different point-of-view?
Read more on Mary Marshall’s website…
What’s the difference?
It is important to note that paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave have two different sets of requirements. Both requirements include strictly-enforced measures that prevent employers from retaliating against employees in any way for the exercise of either or both rights.
Paid Family & Medical Leave
In 2019, employers in Washington will begin paying premiums for paid family and medical leave. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, employees will be able to apply for Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits. Benefits will be available for most employees who work at least 820 hours in the qualifying period.
Paid Family and Medical Leave will be a state-run insurance program that is funded by both employers and employees. Eligible employees are assured up to 12 weeks of leave as needed, with partial wage replacement. In certain exceptional cases 16-18 weeks may be taken.
The amount of this benefit varies depending on the employee’s weekly wage, median statewide incomes, and other factors. Continue reading
Changes to the state minimum wage
The minimum wage will be $11 per hour in 2017
- The minimum wage applies to all jobs, including agriculture.
- Employers must pay employees age 16 and older at least $11 per hour in 2017. WAC 296-126-020(app.leg.wa.gov).
- Employers are allowed to pay 85 percent of the minimum wage to employees under age 16. WAC 296-126-020 (app.leg.wa.gov). For 2017, this rate is $9.35 per hour.
- Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac currently have higher minimum wage rates. The local rate applies if it is higher than the state minimum wage rate.
- The initiative does not change overtime pay requirements.
The initiative sets future minimum wage rates Continue reading
Washington State’s Department of Labor & Industries answers the top 20 small business questions. For example:
- I’m hiring employees for the first time. What do I need to do?
- Can I just hire independent contractors? They’re easier than employees.
- Which government permits, licenses and tax registrations do I need?
- I own a business. Am I required to have workers’ comp coverage on myself?
- What can I deduct from my employee’s paycheck?
- What do I do if I can’t pay my workers’ compensation bill?
You will find the answers here.
by Joseph G. Hadzima Jr.
Employment costs fall into several broad categories:
Finding technically qualified people who can function effectively in a rapidly growing start up venture is not easy task. In an earlier column we discussed the economic alternatives for head hunting. For this column it suffices for me to remind you to be sure to devote the time to make sure that your hires are as close to perfect “10s” as possible. Anything less will be a drag on your business.
Basic salaries vary all over the place depending on the industry and a variety of other factors. There are data that can help you calibrate an appropriate base salary. For example, the Massachusetts Software Council puts out an annual Compensation Survey and there are similar publications in other industries. Be sure to establish rational salary ranges given your growth plans. This means that in most cases there should not be great salary differentials between early hires and later employees- any “risk component” of being an early hire should be made up in the equity compensation component. Continue reading