[This post talks about the law related to rape, stalking, and domestic violence]
I was thinking about the Senate voting to repeal the Seattle Sick Leave/ Safe Leave law in many cases when I read this piece from Cienna Madrid on Tom sending the Reproductive Parity Act to die in committee.
You see, as Senate Majority Leader (a position he also attained with his weasely prowess), Tom is responsible for assigning bills to the appropriate Senate committees. And instead of assigning the Reproductive Parity Act to the Senate’s Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance committee where it was promised a fair hearing and vote from the committee’s Democratic chair, Tom instead sent the bill to the Senate’s Healthcare Committee, headed by anti-choice Sen. Randi Becker (R-Eatonville).
Yeah, that’s pretty terrible. It would have been an important law to have, and would have been a step in the direction of fairness in Washington. It’s one the reproductive justice community has rightly been fighting for for years. It also would have been important to say Washington affirms that abortion is a right. But we all pretty much knew this was going to happen when they said that social issues weren’t going to be the focus of this session. So while it’s awful, it isn’t actually moving back any laws, and Tom would argue that he still supports the law and whatever other excuse.
No, for Rodney Tom’s moving us backwards on safety and decency for women, you have to look at the Sick Leave/ Safe Leave law. Specifically the safe leave portion. You see when a woman who works in Seattle is stalked, or raped or beaten by her spouse, she can take safe time off. In the rest of the state, there aren’t as many protections.**
Rodney Tom looked at the difference between Seattle and the rest of the state and decided that the problem was Seattle. He co-sponsored SB 5728 to preempt that for the whole state, and ESB 5726 to make it only apply to Seattle based employers. The later passed, and the former might still.
I know the point of these laws is just to fuck with Seattle, but I wish the people passing them would give some consideration to the people actually hurt by them. I emailed Rodney Tom to ask him what he might say to a woman in his district who worked in Seattle and didn’t have the protections if she needed them if the law passed. So far he hasn’t responded.
* Transgendered people can need abortions even if they don’t identify as women, and not just women can be raped. I hope the title doesn’t obscure that to focus on the majority of cases where these laws will hurt people.
** I tried to get specifics from the Seattle department that deals with the sick leave law. They were reluctant to be definitive as to what would happen when the law hadn’t passed the state house, and when there wasn’t an actual case.