OLYMPIA – A bill to protect our Rail Worker labor force taking leave passes Senate securing spot as one of the nation’s first of its kind.

SB 5267 sponsored by Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue) aims to protect rail workers from employer discipline and termination for taking unpaid time off for illnesses, and injuries of themselves or their immediate family members. The bill establishes state enforcement for workers seeking an avenue of recourse from employer retaliation for taking leave to stay safe.

“SB 5267 is simply a job protection bill for Rail Workers taking leave to keep themselves, their families, and the public safe,” said Kuderer. In record numbers Rail Workers are reporting to duty sick or injured – some with COVID – because they are not entitled to sick leave and what’s worse: they face retaliation from their employer if they don’t show up.

The bill is the newest of three recent railroad protection bills including Minimum Crew size regulations, and a bill to bar Hazardous material and limit the Length of box cars passed into law during prior sessions.