As a former union organizer, I’ve worked hard to protect the rights of workers throughout our region. I am dedicated to ensuring a thriving local economy. We should incentivize businesses to grow with good paying, permanent jobs. As your State Senator, I fight to keep “right to work” policies out of our state. I also fight for the rights of those who have paid their debt to society and now want a good job. In 2018, we banned the box asking about criminal history on most employment applications in Washington State.
I will work with local businesses and worker advocates to ensure fair implementation of our statewide minimum wage and paid leave laws. Raising labor standards is essential to allow historically low-wage workforces more stability and autonomy to provide for their families and reinvest earnings in our local businesses. Working with business and worker advocates to ensure the implementation of our new labor standards is also key to making sure that we have an economy that works for everyone. Businesses that treat their workers fairly and pay them a living wage should not have to compete against bad actors. We need to make sure that Washington residents have the ability to work with dignity and make a living whether they are classified as independent contractors or employees regardless if they work through an app or at a worksite.
In addition, we know that communities of color face the biggest barriers when it comes to access to good jobs. We are working on increasing apprenticeship utilization and funding for pre-apprenticeship programs proven to get women and people of color into good construction careers and expanding it to other industries.
In 2018, we made a lot of progress to make compensation more equitable. We advanced a slew of bills to protect workers rights to organize and address sexual harassment in the workplace. We also passed legislation bringing us much closer closing the gender wage gap and ensure that women of color - who are the most impacted by the gender wage gap - are at the front and center of passing this policy.