Small Business Newsletter: Spring 2022 Edition

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Spring 2022 Edition


A Note from Small Biz Andrew


Small Business Office Now Provides Direct Services in Spanish


New Legislation Requires Posting Salary Ranges


Hiring Teen Workers This Season?


National Small Business Week is May 1 - 7


Money-Saving Strategy: New Program Prepares Businesses to Return Injured Workers to the Job


COVID-19 Requirements in Effect (Updated)


2nd Quarter Webinars from the Small Business Office

A Note from Small Biz Andrew

Spring is here, which means it is thyme for some daffodils and daisies, and to breathe a sigh of re-leaf that warmer weather is finally on its way back to the Evergreen State.  

Business is blossoming this time of year.  The Small Business Office newsletter is already fully in bloom and ready to spread its wings and fly. Let's say we put the petal to the metal and dig into this month's topics:

  • New business legislation that recently passed.
  • National Small Business Week.
  • How to hire teen workers.
  • Free Early Return to Work consultations.
  • COVID regulations still in place.

Last, bud not least, I can't help pollen your leg with some spring-themed Small Biz Andrew’s Business Jests sprouting throughout our articles. If laughter doesn't immediately spring to mind, give it some time and I'm sure you'll find them pretty a-May-zing.

Your friendly friend at L&I,

Andrew Bryan

Asst. Small Business Liaison

Small Business Office Now Provides Direct Services in Spanish

Welcome the bilingual addition to our team, Andrea Muñoz, and the direct Spanish line at  

It's been a few short months since L&I's Small Business Office brought on board its latest crew member, but she's already making waves in very big ways.

Yes, our office is thrilled to set sail on a new means for our Spanish-speaking customers to reach us directly via the newly created email address, helmed by the very talented, very knowledgeable, and very bilingual Andrea Muñoz.

So if you or someone you know needs assistance in Spanish, point your compass towards the Small Business Office and this message from Andrea:

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre un pequeño negocio, no dude en comunicarse con nuestra oficina. Llame al 1-800-987-0145 o envíe un correo electrónico a

¡Estamos muy contentos de ofrecer nuestros servicios en español y estamos aquí para ayudarle a usted y a su negocio!

washington state department of labor and industries - workplace rights


New Legislation Requires Posting Salary Ranges

What passed and how does it affect your business?


Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5761: Employer requirements for providing wage and salary information to job applicants

Who it impacts: All employers with 15 or more employees

What is changing: The Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act is being amended to require employers to disclose the wage scale or salary range in all job postings.

When it takes effect: January 1, 2023

Employer Responsibilities:

Employers must disclose in each job posting the wage scale or salary range for each open position, and a general description of other compensation and benefits to be offered to the hired applicant.

"Posting" includes:

  • any solicitation intended to recruit job applicants for an available position
  • recruitment done directly by employer
  • recruitment done indirectly through a third party
  • any postings done electronically or in printed hard copy that includes qualifications for desired applicants.

Please see the Senate Final Bill Report for more details.

Other provisions of the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act:

  • Equal pay for equal work, not based on gender.
  • Equal advancement opportunities, not based on gender.
  • Prohibition against asking job applicants for past salary history.
  • Prohibition against salary secrecy (employees can disclose salaries to each other).

Small Biz Andrew's Business Jests #1

Now that the weather is warming, I think I might start a wind chime business.

Seems like it would be a pretty sound investment.

washington state department of labor and industries - safety and health


Hiring Teen Workers This Season?

Learn your requirements around youth employment.


With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, many teens are looking for a summer job.  You may be a business looking to hire a teen worker for the season. Lucky for you that May is Youth Employment Safety Month and L&I is here to provide additional focus and resources on teen workplace safety to help your business and employees thrive.

Did you know that in 2021 alone:

  • There were 801 teens injured at work in Washington.
  • Injuries ranged from cuts and lacerations to bruises, contusions, and burns.
  • Injuries most commonly resulted from falling while carrying an object, slipping on a wet floor, or contact with an oven or other hot object.

It is important to remember that any concerned citizen can report potential youth employment violations, so it's crucial you know the requirements for keeping young workers safe on the job.

So what are some of the things you can do to help ensure fewer teen injuries at work?

Know the rules around youth employment

Generally, the legal age to work in Washington State is 14 years old. For minors under 14 to work, an employer must first get permission from a Superior Court judge in the county where the minor lives.

Before an employer can hire a minor, they must have the following:

  1. Minor work permit endorsement on their business license.
  2. A completed and signed parent/school or summer authorization form.
  3. Proof of age document (e.g. a birth certificate or driver’s license).

There are also specific meal and rest break requirements and hours of work limitations for teens. These vary whether the work is during the school year or summer break.

Additionally, employers must ensure that minors are not performing prohibited job duties, including:

  • Wrecking, demolition, and excavation.
  • Operating power-driven woodworking machines.
  • Working higher than 10 feet off the ground or floor level.
  • Operating forklifts or other heavy equipment.
  • Using powered bakery equipment or powered meat/food slicers and grinders.
  • Working alone past 8 p.m. without adult supervision on the premises (applies only to service occupations such as retail and restaurant industries).

There are separate job duty restrictions for teens working in the agricultural industry. There are also additional restrictions for minors younger than 16 years old.


Small Biz Andrew's Business Jests #2

Many think my puns about spring, summer, and fall are pretty awful.

Oh well, I guess they can't all be winters.



National Small Business Week is May 1 - 7

Join the Small Business Administration's free virtual summit May 2 - 5 for tools and resources.

For more than 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has celebrated National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

This annual event highlights the contributions of small businesses to the U.S. economy and points these businesses to resources to help them grow and comply with regulatory requirements.

During the week, the Department of Labor (DOL) will have a virtual booth to highlight small business resources from OSHA, Wage and Hour Division, and other DOL agencies. OSHA will feature small business resources such as the On-Site Consultation Program and the OSHA/NIOSH Small Business Safety and Health Handbook.

Join the NSBW virtual summit for tools and information that entrepreneurs need to further power economic growth, strengthen supply chains, and deliver the products and services Americans depend on every day.

Registration is open and free.

Small Biz Andrew's Business Jests #3

What do bakers prefer to plant in spring?

Flour gardens.


Money-Saving Strategy: New Program Prepares Businesses to Return Injured Workers to the Job

The new service aims to help you build and implement a return-to-work program at your business.

The Early Return to Work Consultation (ERTWC) team's new program helps you explore return-to-work opportunities for your injured workers and potentially receive financial incentives.

Studies show a link between the amount of time a worker stays on time-loss and whether they go back to work or go into long-term disability.

The program’s long-term goal is to help employers prepare for future claims – even before a worker becomes ill or gets injured on the job.

Go to the Prepare for Future Claims web page today to schedule a consultation for your business. Your consultant will provide:

  • Education on financial incentive programs for getting injured workers back to work as soon as medically feasible.
  • Assistance creating “light duty” opportunities and completing job analyses and job descriptions.
  • Potential referrals to L&I experts in the Stay at Work, Preferred Worker, and Retrospective Ratings programs as well as risk management, industrial hygiene, and ergonomics.

To find out more on how ERTWC can help you, email the ERTW consultation team mailbox, call 360-902-5555, or click on the Prepare for Future Claims web page.

Small Biz Andrew's Business Jests #4

How is the letter "A" like a flower?

The "B" comes after both.

washington state department of labor and industries - safety and health


COVID-19 Requirements in Effect (Updated)

Masks are no longer required for most workers, but the pandemic remains a workplace hazard.  Know what's required. 


All employers must continue to ensure a safe workplace by adhering to the following items.

Basic Requirements for All Workplaces

  • Keep workers known or suspected to have COVID-19 from working around others by following appropriate isolation or quarantine guidance as outlined by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).
  • Provide hand washing facilities and supplies, and regularly clean and sanitize surfaces.
    Educate workers about COVID-19 prevention in the language they understand best.
  • Provide written notice of potential COVID-19 exposure within one business day to all workers, and the employers of subcontracted workers, who were at the same work site as a person who tested positive (without disclosing the person’s identity).
  • Report COVID-19 outbreaks to L&I within one business day when they involve 10 or more workers at a workplace or job site with more than 50 workers.
  • Address COVID-19 notification, reporting, and prevention measures in the employer’s workplace-specific, written Accident Prevention Program or equivalent safety program.
  • Allow workers to voluntarily wear masks (respirators, medical procedure masks, or cloth face coverings) and personal protective equipment (PPE) as long as it doesn’t create a safety or security issue.

Assessing COVID-19 Hazards

  • Employers must continue to assess COVID-19 hazards in their workplaces, because the level of hazards may change. This depends on the amount of disease in the community, how close workers are to others, whether the worker or others they interact with are vaccinated, and ventilation.
  • When COVID-19 hazards change, employers may need to adjust their prevention measures.

For more details on further requirements and resources, please consult the L&I Requirements and Guidance for Preventing COVID-19 page.

Small Biz Andrew's Business Jests #5

When is it impossible to plant spring flowers?

When you haven't botany.

Essentials Ad

2nd Quarter Webinars from the Small Business Office


Multiple free online training options are here for you.


Now is the perfect time of year to spring into some of the webinars our office is directly involved with. Click on any of the dates to register.

L&I Essentials for Business webinars

Led by yours truly, Small Biz Andrew, these webinars are dedicated to sharing the latest L&I requirement updates, resources, and ways to protect your business and workforce, including COVID-19 guidance.

You will learn:

  • The essentials about workers' compensation, quarterly reporting, what to do if your employee is injured, workplace safety and health requirements, wage and hour laws, and contractor registration rules.
  • How to access a range of L&I resources and services designed to help your business save time and money.
  • Various ways L&I partners with you to keep your workforce safe and healthy.

Upcoming monthly L&I Essentials for Business Webinars will be held on the following dates:

Webinars are also available in Spanish:


SBRR's Offerings

The Small Business Requirements and Resources (SBRR) Start a Business in Washington webinars provide an introduction and overview for people looking to start a business, focusing on the process of developing and registering your business and other state requirements.

SBRR Start a Business Webinar Dates:

For those of you looking to expand your current business, the SBRR Grow Your Business in Washington webinars provide information about various resources available to you and some of the regulatory requirements affiliated with business growth.

SBRR Grow a Business Webinar Dates:

Small Biz Andrew's Business Jests #6

Deciduous trees seem more forgiving than evergreens.

They're always willing to turn over a new leaf.

Got a question or a problem to be solved?
Call L&I's Small Business Liaisons for assistance.

Phone: 1-800-987-0145
Email: |

© Washington State Dept of Labor & Industries
Small Business Office

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 44322
Olympia WA 98504-4322