It’s Now Legal to Tip Pool with Heart-of-the-House Employees

On March 23, Congress passed funding legislation that included repealing the tip pool rule that barred certain employers from setting up tip-pooling arrangements under which tipped employees can share tips with their non-tipped colleagues. The bill also includes a provision that ensures workers will receive all their tips. Supervisors, managers and owners are not allowed to benefit from a tip pool. We are looking forward to the Department of Labor clarifying gray areas. Read more…


Win! Governor Signs Top Priority Tourism Bill

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation creating a new statewide tourism marketing program into law. This is significant for us in the hospitality industry as it will help draw more out of state visitors to our state. The State Government Affairs team is very proud to share this win with all our members and partners who have worked on state tourism efforts for many years. To read more about the bill signing, click here.


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Seattle Members:  Tell City Council Why a Tax on Jobs is a Bad Idea

The Seattle City Council wants to establish a tax on jobs to raise $75 million to address homelessness. Seattle restaurants and hotels are calling for an effective, regional response to the homelessness crisis, not a jobs tax that comes without a plan to deliver results and will hit jobs-intensive hospitality businesses the hardest.  Please join the Seattle Restaurant Alliance and the Seattle Hotel Association in urging the mayor and councilmembers to oppose this ill-conceived tax idea. Let them know that the large number of jobs we provide matter and are part of the solution. Taxing our ability to offer first-time jobs, second chances and life-long careers is just bad policy. Restaurants click here for a quick letter-writing tool. Hotels click here.


Major Grant Awarded to Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation

Last year, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5713, creating a skilled worker outreach, recruitment and career awareness grant program. Our very own Education Foundation was a big supporter of this piece of legislation and was instrumental in its passage. Just today, it was announced by the state Department of Commerce that EF was awarded more than 45 percent of the allocated grant money to continue its amazing work for the hospitality industry. Out of all three grant recipients, EF was awarded the largest grant! To learn more about the Skilled Worker Awareness program, click here.


Paid Family and Medical Leave Advisory Workgroup, Phase 1 of Rulemaking Underway

Last session, the Washington State Legislature with input from key stakeholders including the Washington Hospitality Association, passed the most business-friendly and strongest paid family and medical leave program in the country. Over the last six months, the State Government Affairs team has been engaged with the Advisory Workgroup as the Employment Security Department creates the program. As business operators and owners your input is also welcome. If you would like to take a short survey created by the department to help gauge baseline awareness of the program, click here.


Bellingham Council Continues Work to Reduce Carbon Emissions

The Bellingham City Council resolved to urge Washington legislators to pass measures that would impose a fee on each ton of carbon-emitting fossil fuels at the point of production and importation. The council also resolved to urge the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that deals effectively with climate change at a national level, for example by levying an annually increasing fee on the carbon in fossil fuels. The resolution was approved March 19 and supports the city’s climate protection action plan to continue to reduce carbon emissions. Businesses in the city will continue to receive rebates and incentives to work with the city and improve energy efficiency according to the city’s draft climate protection action plan.


Congressional Win Addresses Labor Shortage

On March 23, Congress passed funding legislation allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security to raise the H-2B visa cap based on economic need after consulting with the Secretary of Labor. The secretary has the authority to issue the same number of H-2B visas that were issued in 2017, which will help address the hospitality industry’s labor shortage. The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. There is a limit on the number of foreign nationals who may be issued an H-2B visa or granted H-2B status during a fiscal year. Congress has currently set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year. Read more…


Hospitality Month 2017 Communications Earn Award

A new partnership between the Employment Security DepartmentWorkSource and the Washington Hospitality Association in 2017 earned a Certificate of Excellence in the Marketing Communications category of the 2018 Public Relations Society of America Totem Awards on March 21. The winning entry was for the Washington Careers in Hospitality Month communications campaign in May 2017. Read more: Read more…


Spokane’s North Monroe Corridor Project Starting April 2

The City of Spokane has the signs up: The North Monroe Corridor road construction project begins April 2. This project will narrow Monroe Street from five lanes to three between Indiana Avenue and Kiernan Avenue. The city hopes to minimize disruption to businesses along that stretch of road by completing the two phases of the project simultaneously. They are also offering marketing services and façade upgrades to businesses that are directly affected by the project. Visit the City of Spokane website for more information, or email Construction Relations Manager Michelle Vazquez.


Come Learn, Engage and Have Fun at the 2018 Washington Hospitality Summits

We are thrilled to announce that the Hospitality Summits are set for the spring of 2018. There are four summits planned between April and May in Bellevue, Seattle, Bellingham & Tacoma. Visit the landing pages for each summit by starting at


Keep an Ear Out for Washington Hospitality Member Survey

You may receive a call from Verometrics, a market research company. Your Association is conducting the biennial survey to find out what you, our member, feel about how we are doing. The results provide the Board and the Association team key information in setting Association goals. When you receive the call, we highly encourage you to take the time to provide this important feedback. If you have any questions regarding the membership survey, contact Sheryl Jackson.



Monroe Street Grill and La Cà Bar on DineNW Radio Show – Listen Online!

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, now online. Morgan Huether and Paul Schlienz kick off the show with La Shay Germain, owner of Spokane’s Monroe Street Grill. Morgan and Paul then interview Tuan Nguyen, owner of La Cà Bar, a Vietnamese eatery in Tacoma.


Eye on Hospitality: Education Foundation Helps You Find Job Candidates in a Tight Labor Market

It’s a tight labor market out there. U.S. businesses large and small are having difficulty finding workers as the economy continues its recovery from the Great Recession. And hospitality is just as affected by this market trend as any other industry. Enter the Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation (EF). The EF understands the problems faced by many of our hotel and restaurant members with prolonged job vacancies and searches for qualified candidates. And EF has taken action to help you find the perfect candidates to fill your job openings. Read more…