Lawsuit Over Minimum Wage Initiative Goes Before Judge
A Kittitas County Superior Court Judge heard three arguments over I-1433, the Washington State Initiative that raised the minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave for workers.
The lawsuit was brought forward by three Kittitas County farmers, including Brad Haberman who are arguing that the Initiative violates the State’s Constitution.
“I think minimum wage should be separated from sick leave and voted on separately not as one because to me, it’s a little misleading because they put it on the initiative as more of a minimum wage increase.”
The State’s Constitution says that an initiative must only deal with one subject and not multiple subjects to prevent what is known as log rolling, or including an unpopular law with a popular one to get it passed.
The state, and the crafters of the initiative argued that it goes under the idea of labor standards and employee compensation and thus only tackles one subject.
Haberman noted something that has been echoed by other farmers.
“I’m getting tired as an employer of being treated like I mistreat all of my employees cause I don’t.”
The judge’s decision is expected to be released in the next two weeks, but all parties seem to acknowledge that this was likely not the end of the case and that it would be appealed, something Haberman said they’re prepared to deal with.
“I don’t think this is our last stop. We’ll go on.”
Haberman acknowledged that they knew this could be an uphill battle to win the case, but also noted that farmers are always “battling uphill.”
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