Business News for Bellevue and the Eastside of Lake Washington

Fair Work Center launches to help workers navigate Seattle’s new labor laws

Fair Work CenterFair Work Center Nonprofit will partner with new law clinic at University of Washington

SEATTLE—With new wage laws now in effect in Seattle, the nonprofit Fair Work Center has launched to help workers better understand their rights and the city’s labor standards.

“Seattle is fortunate to have a suite of newly adopted labor laws, including one of the highest minimum wages in the country,” said Director Nicole Vallestero Keenan. “Fair Work Center has been established to help workers make sense of their rights to paid sick leave, wage theft protections, minimum wage and more.”

Workers with questions about the phase-in of $15/hour minimum wage, securing paid sick leave, or other issues can connect with Fair Work Center online at fairworkcenter.org; by email at help@fairworkcenter.org. The center will provide services in Vietnamese, Spanish, Somali and English. The Fair Work Center offices are located at 5308 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South.

“It’s understandable that workers will have questions about their rights under the city’s laws,” said Kellye Testy, Dean of the UW School of Law. “The new UW program, in conjunction with Fair Work Center, will help them get the benefits they’ve earned.”

Fair Work Center’s Board includes:

  • Rebecca Smith, National Employment Law Project
  • Candace Inagi, Development Director, Asian Counseling and Referral Service
  • Rebecca Saldana, Executive Director, Puget Sound Sage
  • Rich Stolz, Executive Director, One America
  • David Rolf, President, SEIU 775
  • Marcus Courtney, Senior Field Representative, AFL-CIO

Vallestero Keenan brings 10 years of experience in research, advocacy campaigns, civic engagement, racial justice organizing, social services, and community and business outreach. Prior to joining the Fair Work Center, she served as the Policy Director at Puget Sound Sage – where she led the policy and analysis work on labor standards.

She began her career through community engagement and youth engagement roles at the Washington Environmental Council, El Centro de la Raza and the Washington Bus. Vallestero Keenan served as Board President of the Asian Community Leadership Foundation until 2015.

Fair Work Center is fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to helping workers navigate Seattle’s new labor laws.

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