House Bill 1730 would help the state’s workforce by opening certain job positions to a larger group of applicants
Rep. Kevin Waters introduced his first bill as a freshman legislator, last week, which would give many of Washington’s smaller businesses a boost in their hiring efforts.
House Bill 1730 would help the state’s workforce by opening certain job positions to a larger group of applicants. The legislation would allow, under specific and limited circumstances, youth between the ages of 18 to 21 to be employed in establishments traditionally classified as off-limits to persons under the age of 21.
“This bill is about helping our state’s workforce. There are so many businesses, especially restaurants and bars, that can’t find and hold onto good help,” said Waters, R-Stevenson. “It would also open up more opportunities for individuals under 21 looking for work. So, this is a win-win for both job seekers and employers, and a win for Washington.”
The bill would make it legal for anyone at least 18-years-old to perform services unrelated to the sale or service of alcohol to enter and remain on premises, but only to carry out the duties of their employment as a dishwasher, cook, chef, sanitation specialist, or other kitchen staff and only under the following conditions:
- The individual may not perform any services or work in the bar, lounge, or dining area of the licensed premises.
- The individual may not serve food, drinks, or otherwise interact with the patrons of the licensee.
- The individual may never be in possession of or consume alcohol at any time.
- The licensee must ensure that a supervisor, who is at least 21 years of age, is present at all times that an individual employed under this section is working.
- This section shall not be construed as permitting the sale or distribution of any alcoholic beverages to any person under the age of 21 years.
HB 1730 has been referred to the House Regulated Substance and Gaming Committee, and is scheduled for a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 9.
“I’m looking forward to testifying on this bill and seeing it move forward,” added Waters. “Even simple bills like this can go a long way in easing our workforce shortage.”
The 2023 legislative session began Jan. 9 and is scheduled to last 105 consecutive days.
Information provided by Washington State House Republicans, houserepublicans.wa.gov
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