Washington State Senate OKs Easing Minimum Wage Penalties - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington State Senate OKs Easing Minimum Wage Penalties

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington state Senate has passed a measure to make it easier for employers to avoid fines for not paying the minimum wage or overtime.
    
Under the measure passed Monday, employers would face no penalties for erroneously but "in good faith" interpreting advice from the Department of Labor and Industries on minimum wage and overtime rules.
    
Currently, employers are spared penalties if they "reasonably relied upon" the advice of Labor and Industries, which is a higher standard.
    
Bill supporters say it will give employers the benefit of the doubt in interpreting complicated rules.
    
Opponents said the bill would incentivize underpaying workers and would change 100 years of precedent.
    
Senate Bill 5158 passed by a vote of 25-24, with the Republican-dominated majority voting in favor. It heads next to the House.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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