ERIC revises its lawsuit challenging part of hotel-worker bill

When Initiative 124 passed, it attracted two lawsuits: one that tried to invalidate the entire bill, and another that attacked only one part: the requirement that hotel employers purchase health insurance for their employees.¬† Last summer, facing an almost certain loss¬† in the courts, Council member Mosqueda led an effort that repealed I-124 and replaced it with four separate, modified bills that she hoped would resolve the legal challenges in the two cases. But as expected today the plaintiff in the second case, ERIC, filed an updated complaint arguing that the rewritten bill requiring employers to provide healthcase, still violates …

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The legal challenges related to Initiative 124 aren’t over

Earlier this year, Initiative 124 was working its way through the court system — and losing badly. But over the summer Council member Teresa Mosqueda rewrote it to address its legal shortcomings, successfully shepherded the reworked version through the Council’s legislative process, and got the Council to repeal the original I-124 ordinance. That solved the problem with the main lawsuit. But there is a second lawsuit that has been in limbo while the first one played out, and the plaintiffs in that case are forging ahead with their narrower legal challenge.

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Hotel worker bills get fine-tuned, continue to move forward

Last Thursday the Council’s Workers’ Rights committee finished amending three of the four hotel workers’ protection bills, co-sponsored by Council members Mosqueda and Gonzalez to replace Initiative 124. (update 9/9: a couple of corrections below based upon feedback from Council staff. My apologies; several of the amendments weren’t published in advance of the meeting so it was challenging to follow along)

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Hotel workers’ bills draw opposition at public hearing

This evening the City Council held a public hearing on four bills that Council members Mosqueda and Gonzalez have introduced as a replacement for Initiative 124. As expected, hotel workers and labor representatives showed up to urge the Council to pass the ordinances. But hotel managers and other small business owners also showed up in numbers to state their opposition to some of the provisions in the bills – particularly the health insurance mandate.

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Mosqueda, Gonzalez introduce tweaked version of I-124, with improvements

After several hearings in which the Council members took input from both hotel employees and employers, this week Council members Mosqueda and Gonzalez are officially introducing a modified version of Initiative 124 to run through the Council’s legislative process. Their version attempts both to circumvent the issues that led to legal challenges to I-124, as well as to fix some of the most problematic aspects of the voter initiative.

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Council to look at salvaging what it can from I-124

As of today, Initiative 124, which was approved by Seattle voters in November 2016, is nearly dead after the State Court of Appeals invalidated it for impermissibly containing multiple, unrelated subjects. But Council members Teresa Mosqueda and Debora Juarez, along with some of their colleagues, are about to take a look at passing at least parts of it into law the old-fashioned way — and fixing some of its most glaring flaws in the process.

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City agrees not to enforce part of I-124 while lawsuit progresses

Last month ERIC, an industry association, sued the City of Seattle over a portion of Initiative 124 that requires companies to either provide gold-level healthcare to hotel workers or compensate them accordingly. Yesterday, the City of Seattle and ERIC filed with the court an agreement that the city would not attempt to enforce that provision of I-124 until January in exchange for an extension of time to file its legal brief in defense of the ordinance.

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