SEATTLE ADVOCACY

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Our local government affairs team works with the Seattle Restaurant Alliance and Seattle Hotel Association to build relationships so the hospitality industry is involved in crafting legislation that has the best outcome for Seattle employees, businesses and residents. The local team also supports members with the resources found on this page.  For information about joining us as a Seattle member, click here for restaurants and here for hotels.

 

 

SWEETENED BEVERAGE TAX  
Seattle’s sweetened beverage tax went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. The Seattle Restaurant Alliance has prepared a fact sheet with information and resources to help members understand this new tax.

 

HOTEL EMPLOYEES HEALTH AND SAFETY INITIATIVE (INITIATIVE 124)
Initiative 124, passed by voters in November 2016, established safety, workload and health insurance requirements for Seattle hotels. These labor standards went into effect on Nov. 30, 2016 under an ordinance now referred to as the Hotel Employees Health and Safety Initiative (HEHS).  The rulemaking process for HEHS got underway in January 2018, and the Office of Labor Standards released draft administrative rules on April 9. The two-week public comment period will be open until 5:00 p.m. on April 23. Information on how to submit comments is available here.  SHA members will receive additional information on the rules via email.  If you have any questions about the draft rules, please email Anna Boone at annab@wahospitality.org.

 

SHORT-TERM RENTAL ORDINANCE
In late 2017, the Seattle City Council passed a legislative package to govern short-term rentals within city limits.  The legislation established safety, insurance and licensing requirements and limits the number of units any given operator may have. It also established a per-night tax. The ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

 

FOOD PACKAGING, UTENSILS AND STRAWS
On July 1, 2018, utensils and straws offered by foodservice establishments in Seattle will need to be compostable. Up until this year, straws and utensils have received annual exemptions from the city’s recyclable and compostable foodservice packaging requirements. In 2017, Seattle Public Utilities announced that it would no longer offer that exemption.

 

MINIMUM WAGE
In 2014, the Seattle City Council passed a Minimum Wage Ordinance which is gradually increasing the minimum wage for all Seattle employers to $15.00/hour and higher with adjustments for inflation. Large employers who reached $15/hour in 2017 are now paying $15.45 with the 2018 inflation adjustment.

 

PAID SICK LEAVE
In December 2018, Seattle updated its paid sick and safe time ordinance to incorporate the more generous aspects of Washington state’s new paid sick leave requirements. Seattle’s ordinance continues to apply to both hourly and overtime-exempt employees, and in keeping with state law it now applies to employers of all sizes.

 

SECURE SCHEDULING ORDINANCE

 

RESTAURANT GRADING SYSTEM 
In January 2017, Public Health – Seattle & King County introduced a new food safety rating system for King County restaurants. Rating signs must now be posted in windows, and ratings and full inspection history are available to the public online.

 

CONTACTS: 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS DIRECTOR:  John Lane   johnl@wahospitality.org

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS SENIOR MANAGER:  Anna Boone   annab@wahospitality.org

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COORDINATOR: Teddi McGuire   teddim@wahospitality.org

LOCAL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER:  Marianne Scholl   mariannes@wahospitality.org

 

 

MEMBERSHIP INQUIRIES:

SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOODS SENIOR TERRITORY MANAGER:  Cathy Fox   cathyf@wahospitality.org  /  c 253.277.1586

DOWNTOWN SEATTLE AREA COORDINATOR:  Michele Schaub   micheles@wahospitality.org  /  c 206-423-3902

 

SEATTLE RESTAURANT ALLIANCE:  www.seattlerestaurantalliance.com

SEATTLE HOTEL ASSOCIATION:  www.seattlehotelassociation.com