(1) Whereas the establishment of a minimum wage for employees is a subject of vital and imminent concern to the people of this state and requires appropriate action by the legislature to establish minimum standards of employment within the state of Washington, therefore the legislature declares that in its considered judgment the health, safety and the general welfare of the citizens of this state require the enactment of this measure, and exercising its police power, the legislature endeavors by this chapter to establish a minimum wage for employees of this state to encourage employment opportunities within the state. The provisions of this chapter are enacted in the exercise of the police power of the state for the purpose of protecting the immediate and future health, safety and welfare of the people of this state.
(2) Since the enactment of Washington's original minimum wage act, the legislature and the people have repeatedly amended this chapter to establish and enforce modern fair labor standards, including periodically updating the minimum wage and establishing the forty-hour workweek and the right to overtime pay.
(3) The people hereby amend this chapter to conform to modern fair labor standards by establishing a fair minimum wage and the right to paid sick leave to protect public health and allow workers to care for the health of themselves and their families.
Intent—2017 c 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1433): "It is the intent of the people to establish fair labor standards and protect the rights of workers by increasing the hourly minimum wage to $11.00 (2017), $11.50 (2018), $12.00 (2019)[,] and $13.50 (2020), and requiring employers to provide employees with paid sick leave to care for the health of themselves and their families." [2017 c 2 § 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1433, approved November 8, 2016).]
Effective date—2017 c 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1433): "This act takes effect on January 1, 2017." [2017 c 2 § 14 (Initiative Measure No. 1433, approved November 8, 2016).]