Archives: Washington Policy Watch

New Rights in Washington Help Working Families Thrive

freeman-family-large

Marilyn Watkins | December 15, 2017

Washington State has begun implementing new standards to help workers stay healthy and protect their loved ones. These new laws are the result of the activism and collaboration of many individuals, community groups, labor unions, advocacy organizations, business owners, and policymakers. Healthy Pregnancies,

What’s in the new family and medical leave law

Makini speaker

Economic Opportunity Institute | July 5, 2017

Washington’s New Paid Family and Medical Leave Program How it will work: Washington’s paid family and medical leave program will work like insurance. Workers and their employers will both pay a small premium with each paycheck, and then workers will receive a benefit from the state when they need family leave

Victory for paid family leave in Washington State!

Christian and Tyler

Marilyn Watkins | June 30, 2017

Washingtonians sent tens of thousands of emails and made hundreds of visits to legislators over the past few months with the simple message: a new baby, ailing parent, or cancer diagnosis should not mean financial calamity. On June 30, the Washington legislature responded, passing a comprehensive paid family

Paid family leave at Starbucks: The headlines vs. the reality

The author, Starbucks barista Kristen Picciolo, had a baby last year. She says the company's paid leave policy, which offers corporate employees more time off than baristas, is inequitable. Photo courtesy of Kristin Piccolo

Economic Opportunity Institute | March 17, 2017

Starbucks got headlines for announcing a new employee family leave policy. But as this story shows, a splashy press release can mask real inequities in company policy. That’s why Washington state needs a paid family and medical leave program that people can count on, no matter where they work: “My name is Kri

Democracy is a participatory process

Photo: Ravenhart via Flickr Creative Commons

Marilyn Watkins | March 16, 2017

Washington’s Legislature is more than halfway through its 2017 session and a lot of good bills have gone to the chopping block. The issues that have made it this far in the process are still alive because individuals and organizations spoke up, identified real life problems, and urged legislators to make the

BREAKING: One working family bill moves on to the Senate… one still left to go

Photo: Rachel Samanyi/Flickr Creative Commons

Economic Opportunity Institute | March 9, 2017

BIG news! Yesterday, Washington’s House of Representatives has passed this year’s equal pay bill on a bipartisan vote, which will help us address the pay and opportunity gaps between working men and women in Washington. (And what a perfect way to recognize International Women’s Day!) This is a HUGE victory, a

Two ways your legislator can make real investments in economic security for Washington women

EOI Policy Director Marilyn Watkins

Economic Opportunity Institute | March 8, 2017

Women and families in the U.S. are facing so many challenges these days, it’s hard to know how to focus our energy. Women who have worked hard, paid taxes, and raised families in this country for years, torn from their children by immigration authorities. Congress and state legislatures restricting women’s ac

WA paid family and medical leave bill moves one step closer to House vote

newborn hands

Economic Opportunity Institute | February 10, 2017

Proposal awaits vote after public hearing in House Appropriations Committee Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 1116, which would create a comprehensive paid family and medical leave proposal for all working families. Sponsored by Rep. June Robinson (D – Everett),

Legislators: End the 10-year wait, pass paid family and medical leave in WA

Photo: mckinney75402 via Flickr Creative Commons

Marilyn Watkins | February 10, 2017

In the decade since Washington state’s House Appropriations Committee last heard a paid family leave bill, we’ve learned a lot about how the first year of life sets the foundation for lifelong health and well-being, how our aging population and the gender wage gap affect our whole economy, and about the posit

Promises and progress on paid family and medical leave in legislature’s hands

Photo: Ali Bindahood

John Burbank | January 25, 2017

Nobody likes broken promises. And for the last year, there’s been a lot of promises about lifting up working families and building a better economy. Now, it’s too early to call promises broken. But it’s not too early to say that the first few moves from the new Trump administration don’t bode well: In just a

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