Dear friends and neighbors,

I hope you’ve enjoyed spring so far. I’m excited to share another update on the significant work we accomplished last session.

As the proud son and grandson of farmworkers and laborers, I have a deep and personal commitment to supporting and protecting workers, who are the backbone of our communities. This past legislative session, we made numerous strides to protect and empower workers across Washington. Our focus centered on creating safer, fairer workplaces and enhancing workers’ rights. I’m proud to share some of the key accomplishments and legislative victories we achieved to support our workforce.

Enhancing Workplace Safety and Health

  • SB 5778, The Employee Free Choice Act, now protects workers from being disciplined or fired for not attending employer meetings on religious or political topics. This ensures workers can focus on their tasks without undue pressure, making Washington the sixth state to pass this important legislation.
  • SB 5793 expands the definition of “family member” under Washington’s paid sick leave law, allowing employees to use their earned leave more flexibly, including when their child’s school or daycare is closed.
  • SB 5632 allows striking workers to maintain their health care coverage, preventing the loss of coverage from being used as leverage against them during strikes. This levels the playing field and supports workers exercising their legal rights.
  • HB 2266 addresses gender inclusivity in the construction industry by ensuring construction workers who menstruate, or express milk have necessary accommodations. Employers must now provide flexible work schedules, access to handwashing stations, and safe locations for expressing milk. Additionally, construction sites must offer menstrual products, making Washington the first state to implement such a requirement.
  • SB 6105 ensures that workers in the adult entertainment industry can enjoy better protection from exploitation and abuse. This bill ensures adult entertainment establishments provide a secure and professional environment for their workers.
  • HB 2022 improves safety around the use of tower cranes by establishing a permit process and setting strict safety criteria. Local governments are now required to permit street closures during critical crane operations to enhance safety for workers and the public.

Strengthening Workers’ Rights

  • SB 6007 protects grocery store workers against the potential negative impacts of large corporate mergers. The bill requires public notice of new ownership, job protection periods, protection of collective bargaining agreements, and mandatory engagement with local governments.
  • HB 1905 allows the state Department of Labor & Industries to investigate pay equity claims based on age, race, disability, and other protected classes. This expansion ensures broader protection against discrimination.
  • SB 5424 helps law enforcement agencies recruit and retain officers by authorizing flexible work policies, allowing officers to work fewer than 40 hours per week to support better work-life balance.
  • HB 2061 closes a loophole that subjected some health care workers to mandatory overtime, ensuring they have more control over their work schedules.
  • HB 2382 allows survivors of drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft to receive death benefits under the state workers’ compensation system, offering crucial support to affected families.

Protecting Consumers and Supporting Commerce

  • HB 2156 enhances consumer protections for those planning to install solar panels, ensuring clear contracts and licensed electricians for all installations.
  • HB 2320 reduces high-THC product usage among youth by requiring cannabis retailers to post health risk notices, with optional training for retail staff.
  • HB 1453 exempts medical cannabis cardholders from the 37% cannabis excise tax, making medicine more affordable for patients with terminal or debilitating conditions.
  • HB 1889 permits professional licenses to be obtained regardless of immigration or citizenship status, provided all other qualifications are met, opening more opportunities for skilled workers.
  • SB 5935 increases protections against noncompetition agreements for workers earning under $120,000 a year, giving consumers the freedom to follow their preferred service providers.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update on our legislative efforts to support and protect workers. Please feel free to reach out to me via email at or by calling my office at 360-786-7690. You can also stay informed about my activities by visiting my website or following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates. With summer approaching, I hope to see you around Green Lake during one of my walks, enjoying our community’s outdoor spaces.




Javier Valdez