Yakima worker center grand opening — June 15th

The grand opening of our new worker center in Yakima is coming up on June 15th…and you’re invited to join in the festivities!

Our new location in Yakima—a collaboration with OneAmerica, the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, & the Washington State Labor Council — will be a regional hub for workers across the Yakima Valley to learn about their rights, get legal help when those rights are being violated, and build the power they need to address the challenges they face. 

Can you join us for this community celebration? Click here to RSVP.

If you can’t make it out in-person, can you support our expanded presence in Yakima with a donation? Every dollar helps run Know Your Rights workshops & provide legal help to workers across Central WA: Make a contribution today

Join us online this week for Workers’ Workshop-Palooza

We’re gearing up for May Day—aka International Workers’ Day—with an entire week of online workers’ rights workshops. It’s the Workers’ Workshop-Palooza. Have a question about your rights at work? Missing a paycheck? Not getting your breaks? We’ll share details about your rights & answer your questions.

Every day this week, 15-minute workshops begin at NOON in English and 5:30 PM in Spanish. Click here to get the link.

  • Monday: Minimum Wage & Overtime
  • Tuesday: Breaks & Tips
  • Wednesday: Paid Sick and Safe Time
  • Thursday: Hotel Worker Protections
  • Friday: Wage Theft

May Day is a time to celebrate the victories workers have achieved by standing together—but our rights are only real if we know what they are and how to enforce them. Tune in to our workshops here.

Request for Information: Nonprofit Accounting Services Providers

Fair Work Center (a 501c3 nonprofit organization) & Working Washington (a 501c4 nonprofit organization) — two related organizations that share an Executive Director, staff, and other resources — are issuing a request for information to help us in exploring a new vendor for providing our nonprofit organizations with accounting services. (Download the PDF here:Accounting services RFI)

We share operations across both organizations so we require vendors familiar with c3 and c4 compliance guidelines as they relate to accounting and bookkeeping. We operate on an accrual basis. 

While we handle day to day accounts payables and receivables, we are looking for support with the following services:

  • Reconcile bank, credit card, and other financial accounts on a monthly basis
  • Maintain chart of accounts and class list
  • Make appropriate accrual and deferral entries
  • Provide financial reports to management, as needed
  • Assist Operations staff with general ledger entries
  • Complete year-end closing entries
  • Prepare and file yearly 1099s and W2s
  • Prepare and file yearly 990s
  • Assist in the development of Financial Policies and Procedures
  • Assist in responding to annual audit(s) 
  • Assist Operations staff with additional Quickbooks support, as needed 
  • Other related accounting items, as needed

Vendors who are interested in working with us should respond to the survey questions (follow this link) or email their responses to josh@fairworkcenter.org.  

  • Your name
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Company name
  • Company EIN
  • Does your business qualify as a Women & Minority Owned Business Enterprise? 
  • What are your hourly rates? 
  • Do you have experience working with 501c3 and 501c4  nonprofit organizations? 
  • What else should we know about your and your company?

La historia de Efrain: “Fue una falta de respeto”

Efraín trabajaba como cocinero en un bar deportivo en Seattle. Tuvo que trabajar horas extras, no pudo tomar descansos, y lo pagaron por 40 horas cada semana—sin importar cuántas horas adicionales él trabajara. Y cuando intentó a tomar tiempo pagado de enfermedad, su patrón lo despidió. 

Nos contactó y lo representamos en su caso contra su empleador. Ahora, Efraín está recibiendo $72,000 en un acuerdo—más que un año de pago. 

Lee la historia de Efrain, en sus propias palabras:

“Después de que me contrataron, fui trabajando duro por seis meses, ganando el salario mínimo que me ofrecieron. Al seis meses, el manager me mandó a hablar. Traje un compañero, el que hablaba más inglés, porque el manager solamente hablaba inglés, y el que me traducía la conversación. El manager me comentó que yo andaba bien, y me ofreció más responsabilidades. Y entonces este ya me ofreció mil dólares por trabajar de lunes a domingo – pues, tenía que estar los 7 días ahí. 

A partir de eso, trabajaba normalmente como 55 horas por semana, y a veces llegábamos hasta las 60 horas—todo por 1000 dólares por semana. No me pagaron nada extra por todas las horas extras. Entonces me debieron mucho dinero, ¿no? Pero claro que necesitaba el trabajo. 

Fue toda una locura trabajar 7 días o 6 días a la semana. Salía para la casa a la una y media de la mañana. Luego dos, dos y media. No pude descansar en el trabajo ni tomar días de descanso. Entre ellos estaría durmiendo 4 or 5 horas. 

Me sentí mal porque allí en realidad—y bueno ya antes era mucho trabajo—ahora fue aún más trabajo. A este señor no le interesaba el esfuerzo que nos hizo y que no está pagando mucho. Además, el dueño hacía una fiesta cada año para los empleados—pero a nosotros, los de la cocina, nunca nos invitaban. Todo eso, el pago y la exclusión, fue una falta de respeto. 

Un día, le dije al manager muy temprano que no dormía bien, y que tengo que ir al dentista porque necesito ayuda con un dolor en los dientes. Nunca faltaba trabajo, pero hoy no pude trabajar. Y me dice usted puede ir al dentista, muy suave, que quiere irse. Ya después, unas dos horas después, me llamó a decirme que estaba despedido.

Me quedé enojado y frustrado, me quedé en cómo todo el trabajo que hice yo ahí como que no les importó. Todavía es muy, muy frustrante. 

Hace como cinco años yo supe de Fair Work Center, porque yo me inscribí a una escuela de inglés, donde recuerdo que la maestra nos informó sobre lo que es Fair Work Center. Entonces me puse en contacto con los abogados, y empezaron a apoyarme con mi caso. 

Nada más quiero que los otros trabajadores sepan los derechos que tenemos nosotros. A veces como personas sin papeles, nosotros no sabemos ni a dónde acudir o con quién preguntarles cuando no están respetando nuestros derechos. En situaciones anteriores, yo no dije nada, yo me quedé callado por temor de represalias y todo eso—yo nunca les dije que tengo una experiencia, me pasó, podemos demandar, podemos hacer esto, no? 

Pero con este caso, yo siempre sabía que tengo el caso y necesito hacer valer mis derechos. Y lo hicimos.”

¿No están respetando tus derechos? ¿Necesitas ayuda?

Llámanos al 844-485-1195, envíanos un correo en help@fairworkcenter.org, o llena este formulario.

Efraín’s story: “It felt like a total lack of respect”


Efraín worked as a cook for a sports bar and grill in Seattle. He was regularly required to work overtime hours, didn’t get any breaks, and was only paid for a flat 40 hours each week—no matter how many additional hours he actually worked. And when he tried to take a paid sick day, his employer fired him.

He got in touch with our legal clinic and we took the case. Now, Efraín is getting $72,000 in a settlement — more than a year’s worth of pay.

Here’s Efraín’s story, translated from Spanish:

(Haga clic aquí para leer la versión original en español)

“After they hired me, I worked hard for six months while earning the minimum wage they offered me. Six months in, my manager called me in to talk. I brought my coworker to help translate to English, because our manager only spoke English, and didn’t speak a word of Spanish. My boss told me that I was doing really well and offered me more responsibility in the kitchen. And with that, he offered me a salary of $1000 a week to work Monday through Sunday—I’d have to be there seven days a week.

From then on, I had to work at least 55 hours a week, sometimes up to 60 hours—all for $1,000 a week. They weren’t paying me anything more for all those extra hours. So they already owed me a ton of money. Still, I needed the job.

It was so stressful working six or seven days a week. I’d leave work to head home at 1:30am. Later, it became 2:30am. I couldn’t take breaks at work or days off. I was only sleeping about 4 or 5 hours a night.

I felt terrible. Before, this job was already so demanding—and now it was even more work. Our boss didn’t care about the effort we were putting in or about how little he was paying us. He didn’t care at all. Every year, the owner hosted a party to celebrate the staff, but they never invited those of us who worked in the back, in the kitchen. All of that stuff, the pay and the exclusion and everything, it felt like a total lack of respect.

One day, very early in my shift, I told my boss that I’d slept really poorly and needed to go to the dentist to deal with some bad tooth pain I was having. I’d never missed work, but today I just couldn’t do it. He told me it was okay to leave and go to the dentist—so I did. But maybe two hours later, he called to tell me I was fired.

I was so angry and frustrated. I thought about all the work I did there, about how none of it mattered to them, they didn’t value any of it. It’s still very, very frustrating to think about.

I’d heard about Fair Work Center about five years ago, during an English class I was taking at the time. I remember our teacher telling us that it was a place to go if our rights were being disrespected. So I got in touch with the lawyers at Fair Work Center, and after talking they decided to help me fight my case.

I just want other workers to know about what rights we have. Sometimes, as undocumented people, we don’t know where to turn or who to take our questions to when our rights are being violated. In the past, I haven’t said anything, I’ve stayed quiet because I’ve been afraid of bad consequences and all that—I’ve never said ‘let’s fight back, let’s take them to court, let’s do it.’

But with this situation, I knew I’d been wronged—and I knew I needed to enforce my rights. And that’s what we did.”

Are your rights at work being violated? Need help?

Call us at 844-485-1195, email help@fairworkcenter.org, or fill out this form.

Los trabajadores de agricultura en WA ahora deben recibir un pago extra cuando trabajan horas extras

Haga clic aquí para leer esta noticia en inglés.

Miles de trabajadores de agricultura en WA ahora deben recibir un pago extra cuando trabajan horas extras. Durante la sesión legislativa en 2021, los trabajadores agrícolas ganaron una nueva ley que puso fin a la exclusión racista de trabajadores agrícolas desde esta protección laboral básica.

En 2022, todos los trabajadores de agricultura tienen derecho a recibir un pago de *tiempo y medio* para todas las horas trabajadas después de 55 en una semana. En el transcurso de los siguientes años, el número de horas requeridas para recibir un pago extra va bajando poco a poco hasta llegar a 40 horas en una semana.

  • 2022: pago extra después de 55 horas/semana

  • 2023: pago extra después de 48 horas/semana

  • 2024: pago extra después de 40 horas/semana

OJO: debido a un dictamen de la Corte Suprema del Estado de WA en 2020, los trabajadores de lechería ya tienen derecho a un pago extra después de trabajar 40 horas en una semana. 

¿Te está pagando lo justo tu patrón? ¿Recibes un pago extra?

Agricultural workers in WA will now get overtime pay when they work overtime hours

Haga clic aquí para leer esta noticia en español.

Tens of thousands of agricultural workers across the state now get overtime pay when they work overtime hours. That’s because of a groundbreaking state law won by farmworkers during the 2021 legislative session, which reversed the longstanding racist exclusion of farmworkers from this basic labor protection.

In 2022, all WA agricultural workers have the right to receive 1.5x pay for each hour worked after 55 hours in a week. Over the next three years, the number of hours before overtime kicks in will decrease until eventually reaching 40 hours/week.

  • 2022: overtime pay after 55 hours/week.
  • 2023: overtime pay after 48 hours/week.
  • 2024: overtime pay after 40 hours/week.

Note: due to a WA Supreme Court decision in 2020, dairy workers get overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week.

Is your boss paying you overtime? What are you seeing?

Seattle gig worker hazard pay and sick days are still in effect

You may have heard that a bill to repeal hazard pay for grocery workers was passed in Seattle. Grocery worker hazard pay will end 30 days after the Mayor signs the bill.

But gig workers in Seattle should know this: laws that ensure you receive $2.50/job hazard pay and have access to paid sick days are still in effect through the pandemic emergency. 

If you’re a gig worker in Seattle, you still have these rights:

  • Hazard pay: If you do gig food delivery work, you are entitled to $2.50 in hazard pay for each restaurant or grocery delivery you make inside the Seattle city limits. Hazard pay must be listed separately on your pay report, and paid out on top of what you would otherwise be paid.

  • Sick leave: If you do gig delivery work or drive for Uber/Lyft, you have the right to take paid sick days. You accrue paid sick days going forward at a rate of 1 day for every 30 days you work. When you take a paid sick day, you’ll get paid based on your average daily compensation, including tips.

Dozens of Seattle construction workers are seeing workplace-wide accountability for workplace-wide violations of their rights


We know that when there’s one labor rights violation in a workplace, there’s often more.

And that’s exactly what the Seattle Office of Labor Standards found in a recent investigation into two Seattle-area construction companies. After several immigrant construction workers brought concerns about their rights to CASA Latina — a trusted organization in the Latinx community, and one of our close partners — they got connected with City investigators, who in turn started looking into overall labor rights practices at the companies.

OLS found a long-standing pattern of labor rights violations at the two companies, including a widespread practice of ignoring minimum wage and overtime protections. And those violations aren’t limited to the handful of workers who spoke up: all told, OLS is forcing the companies to pay $2,055,204 to 53 workers.

Such robust and wide-ranging enforcement proves the power of our system of community-based labor standards enforcement in Seattle. The immigrant workers in this case already had strong existing relationships and trust with CASA Latina. When they came forward with concerns about their rights, CASA Latina remained involved throughout the entire investigation, helping bridge communication and build trust between workers and the City’s investigators. 

That trust is essential when it comes to ensuring workers can enforce their rights at work — and that’s especially true for immigrant workers of color, who face particularly high rates of labor rights violations, and who often don’t know or believe that government agencies like OLS are there to help.

This collaborative process means big things for workers: backed up by local organizations bringing community-based expertise, and supported by the resources and investigative power of city government, workers are increasingly seeing workplace-wide accountability for workplace-wide problems.

These partnerships between workers, community organizations, and city government are no accident. For years, community organizations like Fair Work Center and CASA Latina have been working with the City of Seattle to fund and build out this cutting-edge approach to labor standards enforcement.

It’s working. Seattle is leading the way by passing first-in-the-nation labor standards. And we’re backing those laws up with an equally innovative approach to enforcement that’s successfully moving money from companies to workers and holding employers accountable.

As the Seattle City Council turns its attention to the annual budget, it is critically important that city leaders continue to support and fund this community-based labor standards enforcement system. Our labor laws are only as strong as our ability to enforce them — and city leaders need only look to recent enforcement victories for workers as proof of just how powerful that enforcement can be.

Welcoming Danielle Alvarado as the new Executive Director of Fair Work Center & Working Washington

Dear Working Washington & Fair Work Center community,

We are thrilled to welcome Danielle Alvarado as the new Executive Director of Working Washington & Fair Work Center.

Danielle has more than a decade of experience working in the movement for racial and economic justice. And she knows our organization inside & out: since 2019, she’s been our Legal Director.

Leading our legal team, she has supported WA workers in recovering over $1.5 million in stolen wages, and has expanded our ability to represent workers in wage theft, harassment, and retaliation cases. She has also shown a deep commitment to putting the needs of immigrant workers and workers of color front and center in our organizing. This past year, she helped co-lead the broad coalition of community organizations that won $430 million in pandemic relief for undocumented workers excluded from government relief programs.

Born and raised in San Jose, California, Danielle became the first lawyer in her Mexican-American family in order to support organizing and build power in communities like the one she grew up in. She has spent her career supporting worker centers all over the country and has dedicated herself to learning about the many different ways workers are successfully building power.

That’s the experience driving Danielle’s vision for the future of Working Washington & Fair Work Center:

I believe that workers are experts in their own lives — that those of us who are closest to the problem should be the ones to identify and build solutions. That idea has long guided our organization’s work and victories, but there’s still so much more we can do to ensure the voices of those who’ve been excluded from conversations and decisions about their lives —  immigrant workers, workers of color, LGBTQ+ workers, disabled workers, and so many others — are put front and center.”


Since Fair Work Center & Working Washington merged in 2018, we’ve come together to win some transformative victories. We’ve passed groundbreaking protections for domestic workers in Seattle. We’ve won first-in-the-nation hazard pay and sick leave laws for gig workers. We’ve successfully expanded overtime protections to cover hundreds of thousands more salaried workers across the state. And we’ve launched new education programs in SeaTac & Yakima, and created a Basebuilding Team to better support worker leaders over the long haul.

Danielle steps into this role at a time of ongoing crisis for workers. But despite the challenges we’re facing, we know this from experience: when we organize together to demand big changes, we win big. Danielle comes prepared and fired up to continue the work of building power and winning transformative changes for working people across WA. 

But we’re up against billionaires and wealthy corporations — and that means victories will take resources. If you are able, show your support for Danielle and her leadership by contributing to a new Transition Fund that will ensure we have the resources we need to continue fighting for a just and equitable recovery from this pandemic crisis.  

Thank you for being a part of it all,

David Rolf
Board President
Working WA & Fair Work Center

Rebecca Saldaña
Board Vice President
State Senator — WA 37 

P.S. Want your full-time job to be building worker power with Danielle and the rest of the team at Working Washington & Fair Work Center? We are hiring for new legal clinic leadership and for two campaign organizing positions.