hirst fixed

Hirst Fixed!

BIAW applauds the state House and Senate for passing SSB 6091 yesterday evening, which fixes the 2016 Washington State Supreme Court ruling known as the Hirst decision. Governor Inslee signed the Hirst fix legislation this afternoon, January 19.

This legislation will ensure home builders can get back to building in rural areas that rely on household wells, and will help the people of Washington in keeping housing affordable.

"We fully support the final bill passed by the House and Senate," said 2018 President Kevin Rusell. "In the bill, for example, rural areas can continue to rely on the Department of Ecology as the state's resource manager, which creates certainty and predictability for home builders, property owners and families that rely on household wells to build on rural land."

You can find more details in the Hirst Fixed press release.

Paid Sick Leave Starts Jan. 1.
Learn What You Need to Know

When Initiative 1433 was passed by Washington voters in 2016, it not only raised the state minimum wage to $13.50 per hour by 2020, it also created a mandatory paid sick and safe leave requirement for all employers that goes into effect January 1, 2018.

If you have employees in exempt positions, meaning they are excluded from minimum wage, overtime regulations and paid a salary rather than an hourly wage, you will need to know what to do in order to be in compliance by January 1. Note that use of a paid time off (PTO) program is permitted to substitute for paid sick and safe leave when meeting certain conditions.

Paid Sick Leave Notices

Employers that are affected by this must notify employees of their paid safe and sick leave rights no later than March 1, 2018. The notification must contain the accrual rate, authorized uses of the leave and explain the no retaliation portion of the rule. Employers must also provide a monthly notice of accrued leave, used leave and their current balance of the leave.

1 Hour for Every 40 Hours

Employees hired before January 1, 2018 will begin accruing the leave at 1 hour of leave for every 40 hours of work when the initiative goes into effect. New employees will start accruing the leave on their first day of employment. The accrual is at the employees’ normal rate of pay and should be paid in the pay period in which the leave was used. Employees will be eligible to use the leave after 90 days.

When Employees Can Use Leave

There are several ways an employee is authorized to use this leave. Employees may use paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member, when the employees’ workplace or their child's school or place of care has been closed by a public official for any health-related reason, and for absences that qualify for leave under the state's Domestic Violence Leave Act.

Definition of a Family Member

The definition of family member is incredibly broad, which complicates an employers’ ability to verify approved use of paid leave. For purposes of this act, a family member is defined as a child, including a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, is a legal guardian, or is a de facto parent, regardless of age or dependency status. A biological, adoptive, de facto, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee's spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child.

At Least 10-Day Notice to Use Leave

The employee must give at least 10 days notice of their intent to use this leave when foreseeable. Unforeseen leave should be reported to the employer as soon as possible before the start of shift, unless impracticable. In either case, the employee is authorized to have someone else report their leave if they are not able to do it themselves. When leave is used under the Domestic Violence Leave Act, the notice rules do not apply.


An employer may not adopt or enforce any policy that counts the use of paid sick leave time as an absence that may lead to or result in discipline against the employee. Further, an employer may not discriminate or retaliate against an employee for his or her exercise of any rights contained in the initiative.

Paid Sick Leave Law Fact Sheet

Download the two-page Paid Sick Leave Law fact sheet here.

Paid Sick Leave Rules

View the complete set of Paid Sick Leave Rules (RCWs).

Paid Sick Leave Draft Sample Policies

To help employers implement the requirements set forth in the paid sick leave rules, dowload L&I's Sick Leave Sample Policies here.

Paid Sick Leave Overview: What You Need To Know

Download a one-page Paid Sick Leave Overview here.


For more information, please contact BIAW Codes Coordinator Al Audette or at (360) 352-7800, ext. 105.

BIAW Now Accepting Education Program Scholarship Applications

BIAW is pleased to announce its 2018 Education Program Scholarship application is now available. In addition to funding for students pursuing a degree in home building industry-related fields, we also offer $10,000 for scholarships designated for technical/vocational and trade students.

A fillable 2018 Scholarship Application is available for your convenience.

The deadline to submit a scholarship application to BIAW is May 4, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Education Program Director Amanda Fields at 360-352-7800, ext.114.

Hotel RL, Olympia.

Save the Date: BIAW Winter Board Meeting

Save the date for BIAW's Winter board meeting scheduled for February 26-28 at Hotel RL, Olympia.

Several exciting events are scheduled you won't want to miss:
  • Accessible Housing Trade Show
  • Legislative Reception

Check out the complete meeting agenda to plan your schedule.

Reserve your room with the Hotel RL at (800) RED-LION directly. Mention you're with BIAW to receive the $117 single/double room rate. Block of rooms released Feb. 14, 2018.

2018 Accessible Housing Trade Show
presented by the Accessible Housing Council

Join us for BIAW's fourth annual Accessible Housing Trade Show scheduled for Tuesday, February 27, in conjuction with the BIAW Winter Board meeting at Hotel RL in Olympia. Meet local manufacturers, suppliers and service providers along with interactive displays, industry proven tools, technologies and evidence-based research.

Last year over a dozen vendors, suppliers and designers gathered together to showcase their latest products and services. Accessible housing and universal design are fields that will contiue to be a part of the changing environment of home buyers and homeowners. Come join us!

Download the 2018 Trade Show registration form here.

Read all about past trade shows here and here.

If you have questions on how you can be a part of this free event, please contact Karen Hall at (360) 352-7800, x137.

BIAW's 2018 Spike Party: Welcome Race Fans!

It's not too soon to save the date for BIAW's annual Spike Party. This year's event will take place at the Red Lion Hotel Speedway, Pasco, on Thursday, June 21st. Rev up your engines and catch all the racing action, enjoy great food and win great prizes.

Sponsor opportunities are now available. Choose from Premier, Gold, Silver or donate a raffle prize.

Download a 2018 Spike Party Sponsor form here.

Thank you to Premier sponsor, New Tradition Homes, Pasco.

If you have any questions, please contact Education Program Director Amanda Fields at 360-352-7800, ext.114.

bar winners

Remodeler of the Year Tod Sakai, Associate of the Year Diane Glenn and Builder of the Year Matt Clarkson.

Best of the Best: B/A/R of the Year Award Winners

BIAW is proud to announce the 2017 Builder, Associate and Remodeler of the Year award recipients. The winners were honored during BIAW's annual installation and awards ceremony held November 9 at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine.

The honorees, Matthew Clarkson, Builder of Year; Diane Glenn, Associate of the Year; and Tod Sakai, Remodeler of the Year, have been steadfast supporters of the home building industry and we salute their contributions with this award.

Read more about the B/A/R Award winners here.

Read the press release here.

hof winners

BIAW's 2017 Hall of Fame inductees Pete Middlebrooks and Frank Romero.

Deserving Recipients: BIAW Hall of Fame Inductees

On November 9, BIAW members inducted Pete Middlebrooks and Frank Romero into BIAW's Hall of Fame.

Middlebrooks, has been dedicated to serving residential and commercial real estate clients for more than 45 years and Romero, has spent over 45 years advocating for the home building industry at the Dept. of Labor & Industries and BIAW.

Read more about BIAW's newest Hall of Fame inductees here.

Read the press release here

aac aa recipients

Associate Advisory Council's Associate Award recipients and representatives proudly display their awards during the Fall board of directors meeting.

Associate Advisory Council's
Associate Award Recipients

BIAW's Associate Advisory Council's Associate Award recipeints were honored during the Fall board of directors meeting on December 9. Each local association nominates an Associate member who has given back to the home building indsustry at the local, state and national level. Recipients are also recognized for their community service, political activity, and/or environmental efforts. Congratulations to this year's honorees.

BIAW Asks Governor to Call Special Session to Fix Hirst

BIAW sent a letter on October 4, 2017 asking Governor Inslee to call a new special legislative session to allow legislators to provide a durable fix to the Hirst decision and also vote for the capital budget.

Rural communities face an average rate of 8.2 percent unemployment (higher than urban areas) according to the state Employment Security Department’s September report. These unemployment figures combined with the economic study’s results show Washington’s rural families will likely suffer extreme economic losses and gravely affect businesses and rural economies in the state if there is no permanent Hirst fix.

In addition, the decision will decrease local government tax collections and impact urban and suburban home and land owners. Hirst-impacted properties are expected to lose up to 70% of their value, increasing property taxes in urban and suburban areas as a result of the property tax shift.

To read the full press release and copy of the BIAW letter to Governor Inslee, click here.

Study: Impact of Hirst Decision Will Have Far-Reaching Implications on State's Economy

On October 6, 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in the so-called “Hirst” case. The implications of this decision have the potential of eliminating all or nearly all new household or exempt wells in rural Washington.

During the 2017 legislative sessions, press conferences of all four corners (both caucuses in both houses) and the Governor’s office repeatedly told the press there would be a Hirst fix, yet it didn’t get done. BIAW commissioned HR2 Research and Analytics to examine the economic impacts resulting from the Court's decision. The results from the study reveal a significant impact to rural communities and residents as well as other parts of Washington state:

  • $6.9 billion lost in economic activity each year in Washington, predominantly in rural communities
  • $452.3 million in lost employee wages due to the impacts of Hirst, annually
  • Nearly 9,300 lost jobs (FTEs) in rural Washington, annually
  • $392.7 million in lost taxes to state and local governments, annually
  • $4.59 billion in losses to the construction industry, annually
  • $37 billion in lost property values in areas impacted by Hirst
  • $346 million in property taxes shifted to other properties in Washington due to the decision

The HR2 report indicates that the Hirst decision will have exponential and far-reaching impacts in Washington state, with large effects and costs to rural communities.

To read the entire report click here.

For a summary handout on the economic impact study of the Hirst decision click here.

Rural WA in Peril: Permanent Hirst Fix Needed

BIAW is dismayed by the state Legislature’s failure to pass a permanent fix to the Washington State Supreme Court ruling known as the Hirst decision. With no stable or long-lasting solution in place, those impacted by the Hirst decision face an unpredictable financial future and no answers about when, where and how they can build in rural areas in the future without reliable access to household wells. A permanent fix would have given small builders, local governments, and property owners long-term certainty.

Not solving this problem harms at-risk communities in need of economic growth and development. In the year of construction, each new home constructed accounts for nearly 3 full time jobs and 1.4 annually reoccurring full time jobs. “It’s really sad the house Democrats and Governor haven’t accounted for these private sector job losses for the communities in our state that need it the most,” said BIAW Executive Vice President Art Castle.

BIAW President Ted Clifton added: “The state needs a realistic and actionable approach to help small business builders, families, and rural towns and counties plan effectively so they can invest time and resources wisely and responsibly. Homebuilders need lawmakers to pass a reliable, permanent fix to the Hirst court decision.”

Read the full Hirst press release here.

2017-18 R.O.I.I.® Select Enrollment is Open!

The R.O.I.I.® Select team is currently accepting applications for the January quarterly enrollment!

To find out if you qualify for R.O.I.I.® Select, download the 2017-18 application form.

For more information contact R.O.I.I.® Select Enrollment Coordinator Jessica Bass at (360) 352-7800 ext 132, or

Local Association and Member Referral Map

BIAW is proud to offer an interactive map linking users with BIAW members and their local homebuilders association.

Users can click on a county which will link them to the corresponding local homebuilders association's website. At that point a search can be initiated to find members by service/product, type of company, etc.

BIAW Local Association and Member Referral Map

The Economic Impact of New Home Construction in Washington State

Recent research and data from BIAW, NAHB and the US Census Bureau provide an irrefutable case for the benefits of home building. New home construction is a leading revenue and job generator in the state of Washington and, if encouraged, could lead the state's economic recovery.

Economist Dr. Elliott Eisenberg shows us how and why in this entertaining, interesting video highlighting the economic impact of new home construction in Washington.

New Home Construction State's Third Largest Employer

The National Association of Home Builder's Housing Policy Department research estimates the first-year impact of 13,825 new single-family homes built in Washington State is nearly $3.1 billion in state and local revenues, $729 million in state and local taxes and 41,000 jobs.

For the full press release Click here


Don't Miss: BIAW's Paid Sick Leave Webinar
Are your policies ready for the state's new
paid sick leave?

Join us for a live webinar Wednesday, December 20, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

BIAW member Juli Bacon, JB Consulting Systems, LLC, will provide an overview of the new law and answer your questions.

There are three ways to join us:

Cost: $50 BIAW member; $100 non-member

Contact Amanda or Hillary at BIAW at (360) 352-7800 for more information.


Just how much do Washington state employees make?

Find out using the OFM database showing gross pay for workers at state of Washington agencies, colleges and universities.