Get out the vote! Ballots due today. We need your vote.

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Get Out the Vote! Your voice needs to be heard on this issue. Today is the last day to vote. Vote No on Prop 1 – Worker Bill of Rights.

While the worker bill of rights sounds great on the ballot, we encourage you to read the fine print. It is not what it seems. If implemented, the proposition will mandate a costly new wage structure for hundreds of local businesses, causing them to lay off employees, raise prices, or move their businesses out of Spokane, prohibit workers from earning increased wages based on experience or seniority, abolish the at-will relationship between employers and workers, and strip local employers of their legal rights. Here is only some of what businesses, legislators and employees have to say about Prop 1:

Mark Silver, The Cleaning Authority, Spokane, Owner and President: “Prop 1 is flawed in so many ways, I’m not sure where to begin.  First of all the vagueness of the minimum wage issue:  will it be $18 or $28?  What defines “equal pay for equal work”?  What defines a family?  Where are my legal rights as a business owner?  And why is this proposition driven by an east coast organization with no ties to Spokane?

I employ 47 employees and I do everything I can within sensible business practices to pay a fair wage  and create a profit.  We pay far above the national average for our industry, and our employees feel they are fairly compensated.  If by some chance Prop 1 were to pass, my sense is I would have to raise the prices we charge our clients by approximately 50%.  Our clients are very price sensitive and a price increase of that significance would result in mass  customer terminations.  Proof of this is in the number of terminations I receive when I do a very rare cost of living increase of 5%.  Our customers, too,  have budgets and would learn to live without our service.  The worst case scenario would be closure of my office and the laying off of 47 great employees.

The second disturbing piece of Prop 1 is the issue of wrongful termination of an employee.  We are fair with everyone, and have policies and procedures in place to insure that any under-performing employee has a chance for improvement.  There is not an employer, especially in the service industry, who does not have to deal with under performing employees.  They miss work, they show up late, they are unprofessional, their quality of work is sub par, and they have bad attitudes.  As an owner I have to know that when I employ someone who doesn’t care, and is hurting the company and our reputation, I can terminate their employment.  I have a fair process,  and I don’t need a city law telling me what process I must follow.  Businesses and city government will be mired in litigation, and my guess is businesses such as mine will not be insurable against professional conduct litigation.

Let’s make no mistake about it.  Prop 1 is a job killer.   If this passes, I would be forced to immediately move out of the city of Spokane.  I’m sure the city of Spokane Valley or Post Falls would love to have our tax dollars.”

Ted Schmidt, Certified Business Coach: “Proposition 1 will cause businesses to hire fewer people and undermine their ability to create more jobs and wealth that would help our economy grow.”

Katy Azar, Owner, Azar’s Restaurant: “If Prop 1 passes, many businesses will close, people will lose their jobs, and I know I won’t be able to stay in business.”

Janelle Brennan, Garco Construction: “Proposition 1 will mandate that Spokane has the highest minimum wage in the country. This proposition, being driven by a Pennsylvania based organization, will create significant job loss and massive economic damage to our community.”

Jenny Schuetzle, Owner, 14th & Grand Salon: “Read the fine print. The cost of compliance in Prop 1 is extremely high, making it even harder to do business in a recovering economy. I am afraid of what will happen to my salon and employees if this passes.”

Melissa Williams, Spokane Financial Advisor: “For years I’ve worked to build my business from the ground up. In order to continue growing, I need to stay flexible, but Prop 1 will rob me of that freedom.”

Ben Stuckart, Spokane City Council President: “I do not support Prop 1. The costs to the City will lead to a decrease in vital services that our citizens depend on. Spokane should be no one’s test case.”

Mayor Condon, City of Spokane Mayor: “Proposition 1 is a bad idea. If it passes, it will cost millions in taxpayer dollars and put a lot of people out of work.”

Mark Richard, President, Downtown Spokane Partnership: “We have heard first-hand from multiple business owners downtown that their business plans are on hold, or worse yet – they are looking at other markets to expand in, because of the astronomic costs associated with these initiatives.”

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