Labor & Industries Regulatory Issues

January 19, 2017 —  WSHA opposes latest, unworkable Labor and Industries draft on intermittent meal and rest breaks

For the last year, the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I)  has been working to revise its administrative policy on rest breaks for all non-exempt employees.

WSHA, as well as the business community at large, opposes the latest draft policy that essentially eliminates the ability to interrupt a rest break. The draft policy also introduces new confusing obligations for employer to provide rest breaks.  Intermittent rest breaks has long been a standard in our state and attempts to prohibit this standard for nurses has failed in the legislature for nearly a decade. WSHA has been deeply engaged in the process with L&I to date and will again express our concerns about the latest Click here to read WSHA’s comment letter. (Chelene Whiteaker)

August 19, 2016 — Labor and Industries releases draft guidance maintaining intermittent meal and rest breaks

Labor and Industries (L&I) has recently released a new draft of guidance on meal and rest breaks. WSHA is supportive of the draft guidance. It is unclear when final guidance will be released. This spring, L&I instituted a process to consider revising the guidance it provides on meal and rest breaks. WSHA strongly opposed any attempt to rewrite the guidance in a way that would prevent hospital workers from taking intermittent breaks. The department has been asked to consider revisions on its break guidance from the nursing unions. WSHA opposes any such change. (Chelene Whiteaker)

April 30, 2016 — WSHA opposes potential change in Labor and Industries guidance on meal and rest break

Labor and Industries has instituted a process to consider revising the guidance it provides on meal and rest breaks. WSHA strongly opposes any attempt to rewrite the guidance in a way that would prevent hospital workers from taking intermittent breaks. The department has been asked to consider revisions on its break guidance from the nursing unions. WSHA has submitted several letters to L&I, in collaboration with AWB, in opposition to any such change. (Chelene Whiteaker)

May 28, 2015 – Potential rulemaking on pharmacists meal and rest breaks and accountability

The Pharmacy Commission is investigating how to enforce meal and rest breaks for pharmacists and technicians in response to a pharmacists workforce survey conducted in 2014. Our policy position on this issue is that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has rules and the authority to address meal and rest breaks. We support the L&I current rules.

A rigid system like the one proposed by the Pharmacy Commission would compromise workflow and limit a pharmacist’s ability to manage his or her own meal and rest breaks and provide high-quality care.

We also understand the Pharmacy Commission is also considering adding requirements for the Pharmacist in Charge. The changes under consideration could have a detrimental impact on access while driving up the cost of care.

Maintaining access to high-quality health care while controlling costs is a priority for WSHA. On April 29, 2015, we submitted a letter to the commission outlining our position and concerns with the Pharmacy Commission’s inquiry on meal and rest breaks.

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