Following other states’ example, Washington has adopted a new law restricting production quotas that employers impose on warehouse workers.
California and New York recently adopted their own work quota laws, which are largely aimed at providing support for union organizing efforts targeting workers in Amazon’s nationwide network of distribution centers. Other states like Connecticut also are considering similar measures to limit work quotas in DCs.
The Washington law will go into effect on July 1, 2024 and is said to strongly resemble New York’s law, becomes effective on July 19 of this year.
The Washington law covers employers with at least 100 nonexempt employees at a single warehouse distribution center in Washington or at least 1,000 nonexempt employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers that are located in the state.
The industries covered by the new law are warehousing and storage; merchant wholesalers of durable and nondurable goods; and electronic shopping and mail-order houses.
The act defines quota as a work performance standard where an employee is assigned or required to perform at a specified productivity speed, or perform a quantified number of tasks, or to handle or produce a quantified amount of material, within a defined time period.
A first-time violation of the new law or any related rules can result in a civil penalty of $1,000. The state will create a schedule of enhanced penalties for repeat violations, up to $10,000 per violation
Quotas must include time for rest breaks, and reasonable travel time to rest and meal break locations, which must account for the architecture and geography of the facility, time to do work subject to the quota, and time to use the bathroom.