WASHINGTON STATE- The Washington Department of Labor & Industries filed emergency rules to fine businesses over $10,000 for violating the Stay Home, Stay healthy order was approved by Gov. Jay Inslee Monday.
The emergency rules give permission for the department to cite and fine any state business that goes against the order or the Safe Start Plan to reopen businesses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The rules are in effect starting Tuesday giving the department authority to fine businesses who do not go with the phased reopening approach.
Department officials describe this moment had to come because of actions they have seen that could hurt businesses further.
“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,” said L&I Director Joel Sacks.
The state department as well as the Emergency Operations Center will respond to claims or complaints of businesses violating the order. The business will be informed and issued a statement to close by the end of the day. The department stated if the business does not comply they will then be sent a notice with a fine of $10,000 or more to pay.
The department will state the action as an unsafe workplace and will perform routine spot checks to make sure they will follow the orders through the Safe Start initiative.
The Washington Department of Labor & Industries officials said the reason for the new guidelines is to produce a fair view that no business should be able to defy the order while others are doing the right thing.
“The coronavirus is a known workplace hazard and businesses must follow the requirements to keep their workers and the public safe," said Sacks.
For more information about the L&I fines visit their COVID-19 webpage.