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New 2023 WA Laws Impact Jobs & the Environment


New 2023 WA Laws Impact Jobs & the Environment

January 1st, 2023 ushered in not only a new year in the state of Washington, but also a new set of laws, many of which focus on employment and environmental issues. Here are several of the significant new laws that you need to know about in Washington state:

Employment-related Laws

  • Minimum wage increase in WA state: Initiative 1433, approved by voters in 2016, mandated an increase of the state’s minimum wage to $15.74 per hour, beginning January 1, 2023. 

  • Pay transparency law: SB-5761 amends Washington’s Equal Pay and Opportunity Act and requires employers to post wage and salary information for employment applicants. Job postings for employers with 15 or more employees must now include a salary range, as well as benefit information.

  • Rideshare driver benefits & minimum earnings: Transportation Network Company drivers who perform rideshare services for passengers (such as Uber and Lyft) are entitled to a new set of benefits and rights, including: minimum rates (per mile, per minute, and per trip); workers’ compensation coverage; paid sick time; and protection from retaliation for exercising their rights.

  • ID cards for people experiencing homelessness: While not a specific employment law, SB-5815 implements a program to provide individuals with a one-time state-issued “identicard.” The program is intended to increase access to services for people who are homeless, including employment opportunities, education, medical services, housing, etc.

Environmental Laws

  • Clean Fuel Standard: The new Clean Fuel Standard is intended to gradually cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels in Washington state. The standard requires fuel suppliers to achieve a 20% reduction in statewide annual transportation emissions from 2017 levels by the year 2034.

  • Carbon emissions cap-and-invest program: The cap-and-invest program is part of the overall Climate Commitment Act, passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2021. This program caps the overall carbon emissions allowed for the state. Businesses are required to obtain allowances equivalent to their covered greenhouse gas emissions. The allowances can either be purchased at quarterly Department of Ecology auctions, or may be bought and sold on a secondary market. 

For more information on additional laws that took effect on January 1, 2023 in Washington, read the recent King5  news story. 

As a Washington state law firm, CZ Law stays informed on relevant legal developments, whether or not they directly relate to the field of personal injury law. Call our Seattle office today at (888) 484-2033 for a FREE consultation for all of your personal injury law needs. We are here to help!