Protecting Working Families

At a time when our economy is booming and two-thirds of new jobs created in Washington are right here in Seattle, no one should be left behind. All families, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, orientation, or immigration status, deserve access to jobs that provide stability and a family wage. As Mayor, I will fight to build shared prosperity and to make sure we are creating good jobs that provide benefits, worker protections, and a living wage. 

As a working mom, I know what it’s like to struggle to find child care and to juggle responsibilities at work and at home. That’s why I chaired the Working Families Caucus in the State Legislature and devoted my time there to advancing the causes that matter most to working families: better pay, workplace protections, sick and family leave, social justice, and the right to organize.

This session, I led my colleagues to pass the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act, which requires employers to provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations like allowing for flexible breaks and providing seating. I was also a leader on legislation to improve paid sick and family leave, increase the minimum wage, and ensure that workplaces can’t discriminate against women with pay secrecy policies. I fought to improve conditions for nurses and to ensure that employers who receive tax breaks are accountable for maintaining good jobs in our state. I have been a leader on supporting the right to organize, including making sure that employees are not denied benefits by being unfairly categorized as contractors. As mayor, I will fight to make Seattle a better place for working families.

I support:

  • Making Seattle a place where everyone can afford rent, save up to buy a home, and retire on a fixed income.

  • Building on the progress we’ve made toward a $15 minimum wage by expanding workers’ benefits and protections.

  • Encouraging organization and collective bargaining, including for workers in non-traditional sectors such as home care or the gig economy.

  • Addressing gender pay inequity by prohibiting pay secrecy policies, allowing discussion of wages, banning retaliation against workers who ask for equal pay, and offering administrative options as well as damages if private action is pursued.

  • Giving every family in Seattle access to affordable, high-quality child care and preschool by 2020, while paying providers a fair wage. See more detail on my “10% by 2020” proposal here.

  • Expanding Priority Hire beyond public works to include projects like public-private partnerships and housing funded by the City of Seattle.

  • Coordinating and expanding jobs programs through the Ready to Work Program, and improving outreach to marginalized communities.


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