Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Washington State Work & Family Agenda

Equal Pay Opportunity Act 

Women hold nearly half of all jobs and earn the majority of college degrees, yet the typical woman working full time in Washington earns 80¢ to a man’s $1. On average, Washington women working full time bring home $18,000 less each year. Fifty years after Congress banned employment discrimination, up to 40% of the wage gap isn’t explained by factors such as occupation, qualification, or hours.

Many firms prohibit workers from discussing pay so no one knows if they’re being paid less than their co-workers. And employers sometimes track men into more highly paid occupations, and women into lower paying jobs.

The Washington Equal Pay Opportunity Act will protect all workers from retaliation for discussing or inquiring about compensation or job assignments; and provide women effective recourse when differences in pay and job opportunities are not based on bona fide factors like education. MORE »

Paid Sick Days

Everyone occasionally needs to take a few days off – to recover from the flu, tend to a sick child, or take an ailing parent to the doctor. Yet 4 in 10 workers don’t get a single paid sick day, including many in restaurants, retail and even health care.

Paid sick and safe leave will assure workers in firms with more than 4 employees the right to earn paid leave for illness, preventative care, or other health needs of the worker or a worker’s family member, or to deal with the consequences of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. MORE »


When a new child comes into a family or a serious illness strikes, people need longer periods of time off. Several states already provide programs so all workers have income during those times when caring for family or health must come first.

Washington’s FAMLI Act will provide income when workers must take extended leaves of up to 12 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child, or the serious health condition of the worker or a close family member, financed through low-cost payroll premiums. MORE »

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