OLYMPIA—All workers in Washington deserve safety, dignity, and humanity. Rep. Beth Doglio (D-Olympia) sponsored House Bill 1762 to protect warehouse employees in the state of Washington.
Workers in large distribution centers have powered the growth and expansion of e-commerce and have consequently experienced serious work-related injury and illness at more than three times the average rate for other industries. Large distribution warehouses are a rapidly growing industry in Washington—but also one of the most dangerous. House Bill 1762 provides transparency, clarity, and protection.
“We can lower injury rates in warehouses by enforcing safety standards and requiring employers to communicates clearly with workers about expectations,” said Doglio. This bill requires large distribution centers to disclose the quota standards that workers are expected to meet and changes to those standards, requires that quotas must include sufficient time for breaks, prohibits retaliation against employees and former employees, authorizes the Department of Labor and Industries to investigate complaints and enforce provisions, and allows for a private right of action and for independent action by the Attorney General.
“The current increasing use of quotas and our ‘need’ for packages at our doorsteps in record times, means that workers are continually pressured to work faster and harder without recovery time. Unfortunately, this has not been a self-correcting problem: without statewide protections, the rate of this abusive will only increase,” said Doglio.
House Bill 1762, protecting warehouse workers, was passed in the House 53-42 on March 6 and will now advance to the Senate for further consideration.