Ban the Box Takes Effect Today – What It Means for Employers

Employers take notice: Starting today, a new law designed to help people with criminal convictions find employment and rebuild their lives takes effect. The new law requires changes to your application process for job seekers if you do not already comply. During the 2018 legislative session, like a growing number of cities and states, Washington passed a law restricting criminal history inquiries during the hiring process. The measure, often called “Ban the Box,” is named the Washington Fair Chance Act (2SHB 1298), and was signed into law on March 13, by Gov. Jay Inslee. Beginning June 7, public and private employers are prohibited from asking about arrests or convictions until after applicants are determined qualified for a position. Read more…


Successful Hospitality Month! Future Employees Land Jobs at Pierce County Hiring Event

As a finale to Hospitality Month 2018, proclaimed by Gov. Jay Inslee, the Washington Hospitality Association and its partners held a final hiring event in Pierce County seeking to alleviate our industry’s labor shortage by matching ready-to-hire members with job seekers. The job offers on May 31 at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma spanned the career ladder from entry level to management and sales positions. More than 51 percent of job seekers left the hiring event with an offer in hand. Learn more here.


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Government Affairs Committee: Candidate Endorsement Meeting June 26

The annual Government Affairs Committee: Candidate Endorsement Meeting is coming up soon! The meeting will be from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26 at the Courtyard Seattle Downtown – Lake Union. This meeting is an opportunity for the Government Affairs Committee to discuss which legislative candidates will receive endorsements ahead of the 2018 General Election in November. If you would like to register for this event, click here. If you have any questions about the GAC Candidate Endorsement Meeting, contact Katie Doyle.


Let Us Know Your Thoughts on Legislative Candidates in Your Area

With the August primary just around the corner, state legislative races are heating up. While the State Government Affairs Team has been travelling across the state to meet candidates, your input is critical to the endorsement process. If you have any comments or questions about any of the state legislative candidates, you may email any member of the State Government Affairs Team, or email Julia Gorton, director of state government affairs at


State’s New Equal Pay Opportunity Act Takes Effect June 7

Starting today, June 7,  Washington employees are legally required to receive equal pay and career advancement opportunities, regardless of gender. The changes are a result of the Equal Pay Opportunity Act, signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee in March. The new regulations update Washington’s equal pay law, which was established in 1943. The law has several elements that require employers to provide equal compensation to “similarly employed” workers along with equal opportunities for career advancement, regardless of gender. The Washington Hospitality Association was engaged in this legislation during the 2018 legislative session and will continue to be involved in the rule making process. If you have any questions about the Equal Pay Opportunity Act or how we are engaging in rule making, please contact Julia Gorton, director of State Government Affairs.


Tell DOJ to keep basic music licensing rules in place

Music licensing rules known as “consent decrees” help ensure that artists are fairly compensated for their music while allowing establishments to play music. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced it may remove a few of these rules protecting businesses from anti-trust actions by the two largest music licensors who control nearly 90 percent of all licensable music. Take action and sign on to a letter to urge the DOJ to preserve the consent decrees governing the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). Opening new music licensing issues could negatively impact hospitality businesses. For more details, click here.


Spokane Golf Tournament a Big Success

Thank you to all the golfers and sponsors who came out to the Spokane Chapter of the Washington Hospitality Association’s Golf Benefit Tuesday. Some 130 golfers enjoyed an afternoon of friendly competition, barbecue from Food Services of America and dinner from Borracho Tacos & Tequileria. Local ProStart students, the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy and Feed Spokane benefitted from the event. ProStart students from Ferris and North Central volunteered to check-in golfers and sell raffle tickets. We look forward to seeing all of you again next year!



Discount Industry Tickets Available for Washington Brewers Festival, June 15-17

Our friends at the Washington Beer Commission have extended a special invitation to the Washington Brewers Festival the weekend of June 15-17 at Redmond’s Marymoor Park. As industry partners, you are eligible for $15 discount tickets. The tickets are available for any of the three days of the event, however, the Washington Beer Commission will host industry members for meet and greets between 4 and 5 p.m. on Friday, June 15. Purchase the $15 discount tickets here and enter the discount code DRINKLOCAL. Please note, the discount tickets are intended for industry members only, not for friends and family.



Become an Intern at the Washington Hospitality Association

The Washington Hospitality Association incubates the workforce of tomorrow with a thriving internship program. Every 10 weeks, college students rotate through the Association’s Olympia headquarters, simultaneously receiving a wage, college credits and valuable immersion in anything from government, business, accounting, video production, marketing to anti-human trafficking. Learn more about our internship through this video.


SeQuential and Bene’s on DineNW – Listen Online!

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, now online. Andy Cook and Paul Schlienz interview Tyson Keever, co-founder and CEO of SeQuential, a leading biodiesel company that converts cooking oil from restaurants to fuel. Ross Boylan then joins Paul to interview Derek Baziotis, owner of Bene’s, in Cheney.