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.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Photo courtesy of the Bellevue Fire Department Twitter page
Mercer Island Marine Patrol recovers Bellevue man who drowned in Lake Washington

Mercer Island’s Marine Patrol recovered an adult male who drowned in Lake… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of the Bellevue Fire Department Twitter page
Bellevue, Mercer Island emergency responders search for missing man in Lake Washington

Staff Report Members of the Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) Marine Patrol… Continue reading

Freshwater variety of kokanee salmon from Lake Sammamish. 	File photo
Researchers track ‘mysterious’ kokanee salmon in region

Kokanee in Lake Washington and Sammamish are genetically unique. Over the past decades, their numbers have dwindled.

A protective mask hanging on a front door. (Sound Publishing file photo)
King County to lift indoor mask mandate on June 29

About 1.3 million county residents have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series.

File photo
King County leaders propose emergency funding for gun violence prevention initiative

Sixty-nine people were reportedly shot during the first quarter of 2021.

Pills taken during police investigation (photo credit: Bellevue Police)
Renton man charged with homicide after selling fentanyl pills to a Bellevue woman

Law enforcement warns of an alarming increase in fentanyl deaths.

t
Bellevue shines in fastpitch and lacrosse action

Bellevue fastpitch hurler Rachel Treves fires away during the Wolverines’ 11-1 victory… Continue reading

Photos by Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
King County Council approves $631 million emergency COVID budget

Staff reports The King County Council approved a seventh round of emergency… Continue reading

Flames attack the hillside in Bonney Lake on Sept. 8, 2020. (East Pierce Fire & Rescue photo)
WA firefighters brace for potentially busy weekend

Washington state Department of Natural Resources firefighters were preparing for what could… Continue reading

Most Read