Businesses that open before the governor’s orders allow them to could be fined nearly $10,000. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Businesses that open before the governor’s orders allow them to could be fined nearly $10,000. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Emergency rules allow L&I to fine businesses violating governor’s orders

The fine is nearly $10,000.

Washington’s department of Labor and Industries just announced that businesses that violate Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to re-open Washington state’s economy in phases may be cited and fined for unsafe workplace conditions, according to new emergency rules filed today, May 26.

The new rules, filed by L&I, stipulate that the department can levy a closure order on businesses that “are operating illegally,” a press release stated. If those businesses decline to close, they can receive a fine of nearly $10,000.

“We’re all in this together, and most businesses are doing the right thing for our state and our communities. Unfortunately, there are some that are choosing not to,” L&I Director Joel Sacks said in a press release. “The coronavirus is a known workplace hazard and businesses must follow the requirements to keep their workers and the public safe.”

“It’s not fair to employers who are following the law when other businesses defy it,” the release continued.

Tim Church, the department’s director of communications, said businesses will be contacted through a “three-step process”.

“This is more important, if you ask me — our goal is for businesses to be operating in the correct way under the current governor’s order and current phased approach. That’s why it’s a three-step process,” he said, saying the first thing L&I will do after receiving a complaint is to come out, check the situation, and discuss the complaint. “If it turns out they are violating the rules, we’re going to make sure they understand that, and we’re going to send them a letter… to reiterate what the discussion was, that they are violating a rule. The third step is to be doing some spot checks to see if the ones we’ve contacted and informed that they’re violating a rule, and sent a letter that they were violating a rule and asked them not to, then we do spot checks.”

If the spot check reveals the business remains open when it shouldn’t, or if they’re performing work they’re not supposed to be performing, then the fine will be levied.

Businesses are able to contest these fines like they would any other L&I fine.

Church added that L&I highly recommends any complaints previously filed against a business should be re-filed, as the department is not going to go back through past complaints and perform check-ups.

“We not going to go backwards in time,” he said.

An online form for people to report suspected violations of the Governor’s orders is available at https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/09349a1c56844b539fea1c2cabd16d56?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery. This form can be used to report non-essential businesses opening, restaurants allowing dine-in services, businesses not following social distancing rules, large gatherings, and more.

If you’re unfamiliar with the essential business guidelines, visit https://coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed/essential-business.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Kent Police plan to educate, not arrest people without face masks in public

A ‘safety-focused directive meant to slow the spread of a potentially deadly disease’

Property values up in Kentridge, Fairwood, Panther Lake areas

King County Assessor’s Office sends out revaluation notices

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

Kent School District updates Back to School plan

Details about potential return to buildings

Federal Way teacher charged with raping 13-year-old student

Taught math at Totem Middle School on West Hill in Kent

Van Doren’s Landing Park in Kent to close until August 2022

Site to be relocated because of Green River levee work

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Kent, Federal Way men charged in 2017 murder of Seattle woman

Prosecutors say three gang members fired up to 16 shots at vehicle

Human remains in West Seattle identified

Bags of body parts were found in a suitcase along a West Seattle beach on June 19.

Most Read