AGC working on several labor-related bills

Several labor-related bills – some opposed by AGC some supported – are still alive in the current legislative session. Below is a recap; for additional information contact Van Collins at 360 352 5000360 352 5000.

AGC supports:
SB 5125 – Changes the statutory definition of occupational disease so that an occupational disease must arise out of and in the course of the particular employment in which the worker is exposed to the disease and which meets a four-part test:
• the disease is proximately caused by the distinctive conditions under which the work is performed and risk of exposure inherent therein;
• the disease arose as a natural incident of the employment-related exposure;
• the worker would not have ordinarily been exposed to the disease outside of the workers employment; and
• the disease is not an ordinary condition of life to which the general public is exposed without regard to employment.

2ES 5127 -- Removes the age restriction in current law regarding structured settlements so that all qualifying injured workers could participate in structured settlements. In addition this bill clarifies that an industrial appeals judge is not required to make a determination as to the benefit of the agreement to the employee so long as the employee has legal counsel.

AGC opposes:
SHB 2331 --  Adds a mandatory certified payroll requirement to all public works projects. The fiscal impacts are large and would be duplicative of the current system. It also ignores other badly needed reforms.

2SHB 2333 -- Ostensibly addresses employee anti-retaliation. Instead it would create a morass of complicated and ambiguous employment law that would result in years of litigation. Moreover it unconstitutionally presumes employers to have committed a crime in certain instances and would place contractors in a potential “catch-22” with federal immigration law.

HB 2334 -- Badly blurs the line between who is an employee and who is an independent contractor. This is especially true in construction where general contractors statutorily must control the activities of subcontractors’ employees. This bill could easily make contractors responsible for the wages and benefits of subcontractors’ employees.