Weekly Update: Make Your Vote Count: General Election Ballots Due Nov. 7

Weekly Update: Make Your Vote Count: General Election Ballots Due Nov. 7

Make Your Vote Count: General Election Ballots Due Nov. 7

The Washington Hospitality Association urges members to participate in the Nov. 7 general elections. The Association has endorsed candidates in three special elections for State Senate and House seats. The outcome of the Senate race in District 45 is particularly important as it will determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the State Senate during the 2018 legislative session. We have also endorsed candidates in Tacoma and Spokane races and support the endorsements of the Seattle Hospitality for Progress, the political arm of the Seattle Restaurant Alliance and Seattle Hotel Association.  The election of these endorsed candidates will be a victory for hospitality.

District 45:

  • Senate: Jinyoung Lee Englund

District 7:

  • Senate: Shelly Short
  • House: Jacquelin Maycumber

District 31:

  • Senate: Philip Fortunato
  • House: Morgan Irwin


  • Mayor: Jenny Durkan
  • City Attorney: Scott Lindsay


  • Mayor: Victoria Woodards
  • Council District 6: Meredith Neal
  • Council District 4: Kevin Grossman
  • Council District 5: Brian Arnold


  • Council District 2:  Andy Dunau
  • Council District 3: Matthew Howes

For more information, contact Julia Gorton.


Walla Walla City Council Bans Non-Owner Occupied Short-Term Rentals with Exceptions

The Walla Walla City Council voted Wednesday to ban non-owner occupied short-term rentals, or type two rentals, to improve housing accessibility and safety in the city. Non-owner occupied short-term rentals that were established and exist in the city as of Nov. 9 will be exempt from the ban and will require the same annual permits and satisfy the same health and safety requirements established for type one, owner occupied short-term rentals by the council in August. Permits and licenses for exempt units will be required by Feb. 1, 2018. A short-term rental unit is considered non-owner occupied if the primary owner resides there for fewer than 275 days per year. For more information, contact Morgan Huether.


City of Tacoma Creates Immigrant Defense Fund

The task force created to focus on Tacoma’s immigrants and refugees received $50,000 as an immigration defense fund. The fund was created to help residents facing deportations with legal defense during deportation hearings. The task force initially requested about $400,000 per year to establish the fund but, recognizing the city did not have the funding to facilitate the request, decreased to $50,000 from the city’s contingency budget. Seattle established a similar fund earlier this year with $1 million for immigrant legal defense. Immigrants are the foundation of the hospitality industry and in Washington, 23.4 percent of the workforce was born outside of the U.S. The city is accepting donations to the fund at payment.cityoftacoma.org/donation. For more information, contact Morgan Huether.


Tax Reform Legislation Introduced in U.S. House

The U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee released its long-awaited tax reform legislation. Today’s release is the base text of the legislation. As they become available, we will provide more details on the bill and what it means for our industry. The current timeline for the bill is to get it through the House before Thanksgiving although this could change.


New Hope for Tip Pooling

Washington employers continue to face challenges when it comes to tips and tip-pooling rules, but there may be hope. The controversial regulation preventing employers from pooling tips under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is likely to be rescinded. Last July, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) stated it will issue a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” which is the first step in changing its 2011 tip regulation.  That rule currently prevents mandatory tip pooling even in states, like Washington, where employers must pay employees full minimum wage, without any tip credit. Read more…


Apply Now for Restaurant Neighbor and Faces of Diversity Awards, Deadline: Nov. 17

It’s that time of the year again, and we are looking for nominees for the National Restaurant Association’s awards. These awards are:

  • Restaurant Neighbor Award – The Restaurant Neighbor Award recognizes restaurants for outstanding community service and philanthropy. National winners are chosen from a pool of state winners to win $10,000 to support their favorite charity or non-profit.
  • Face of Diversity American Dream Award— The American Dream Award honors individuals from a diverse background who, through hard work and determination, have realized their American dream. Three winners are honored each year with this award and three $2,500 scholarships are awarded to ProStart students in the names of the winners.

There are many great restaurants and individuals out there who are worthy of these honors, so please click here and nominate deserving recipients for these awards. The deadline for these award applications is Nov. 17. Read more…


City of Tacoma Hosts Public Hearings on Paid Leave Draft Rules

The Tacoma City Council voted to amend the city’s paid sick and safe leave policy, creating a duplicate policy for businesses to comply with. The initiative will be implemented in Jan. 2018. Draft rules are scheduled to be prepared in early November. The city is hosting four hearings to help shape the draft rules:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 7, 5:30-7 p.m., Swasey Library Meeting Room, 7001 6th Ave.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2-3:30 p.m., Lincoln District Project Office (Limited parking), 750 S. 38th St.
  • Thursday, Nov. 9, 10:30 a.m.-noon, STAR Center Discovery Room, 3873 S. 66th St.
  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 10-11:30 a.m., Main Branch of the Tacoma Public Library, Olympic Room, 1102 Tacoma Ave S.


I-1433 Draft Rules Available – Your Comments Needed!

During September, the Department of Labor and Industries held public hearings around the state on its draft rules to implement Initiative 1433. The areas covered by these rules are

  • Enforcement – Tips and service charges
  • Enforcement – Retaliation
  • Enforcement – Retaliation – Civil penalties
  • Enforcement – Retaliation – Appeals
  • Enforcement – Paid sick leave

The deadline for submitting comments is Nov. 17. The department is seeking to adopt final rules by Dec. 19. For more information, contact Julia Gorton.



Seattle Restaurant Alliance November Monthly Meeting, Nov. 8

Don’t miss the Seattle Restaurant Alliance’s monthly meeting (10-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 8, Red Door, 3401 Evanston Ave N, Seattle). All restaurant owners and managers are welcome to attend. RSVP to teddim@wahospitality.org.


Washington’s New Paid Sick Leave Law Webinar, Nov. 10

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, Washington state’s new paid sick and safe leave requirements go into effect. A webinar featuring attorneys Margaret Burnham and Catherine Morisset will cover basic compliance steps, key administrative rules and compare the new state law with those existing in some Washington cities including SeaTac, Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma. Participate in this informative webinar to avoid compliance pitfalls. Register now.


Correction: Next Year’s Lodging Convention to Be Held Nov. 11-13, 2018

In last week’s Weekly, we published some incorrect information on when next year’s Lodging Convention will be held.  For the record, the dates for next year’s Lodging Convention are Nov. 11-13, 2018.



Two Minute Video: What You Need to Know

Don’t miss this great video recap of the news you need to know, including the success of the 2017 Lodging Convention, the Star of the Industry Awards, the Department of Health’s proposed fee increases for transient accommodations and the Walla Walla City Council’s work on short-term rental regulations.


Southern Kitchen and North Country Business Products on This Week’s DineNW Radio Show – Listen Online!

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, now online. Andy Cook and Morgan Huether kick off the show with an interview with Gloria Martin, owner of Tacoma’s Southern Kitchen. Andy then joins with Paul Schlienz to chat with Doug Bush from North Country Business Products.


Eye on Hospitality: Hotel Security After Las Vegas

The world was shocked and grieved at the senseless shooting from the Mandalay Bay resort’s 32nd floor, in Las Vegas, on Oct. 1. The hotel industry, of course, was especially devastated by this insane and evil act. Not surprisingly, there is now serious discussion within the industry about security upgrades to prevent similar incidents in the future. Read more…