State House OKs bill to encourage part-time hiring

OLYMPIA — The Washington state House has passed a measure meant to encourage businesses to hire unemployed workers part time.

Under the bill passed by the House Saturday, employers would no longer have to pay more in unemployment insurance taxes for part-time workers receiving unemployment benefits than for those who aren’t.

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, is the bill sponsor. He said the measure would nudge businesses — particularly small ones — to hire more part-time workers.

Bill opponents said the cost savings for individual businesses would be absorbed by other employers paying into the unemployment insurance system.

The measure passed by a vote of 87-10, with 33 Republicans joining a united Democratic caucus voting in favor. It heads next to the Senate.

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