HB 2691

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by House Committee On:

Labor & Workplace Standards

Title: An act relating to the scope of collective bargaining for language access providers.

Brief Description: Concerning the scope of collective bargaining for language access providers.

Sponsors: Representatives Valdez, Ryu, Frame, Doglio, Dolan, Slatter, Lovick, Ortiz-Self, Fitzgibbon, Davis, Pollet and Macri.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Labor & Workplace Standards: 1/20/20, 1/23/20 [DP].

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Expands the scope of collective bargaining for language access providers to include health and welfare benefits and other economic matters, and provides that bargaining over economic compensation includes tiered payments.


Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 4 members: Representatives Sells, Chair; Chapman, Vice Chair; Gregerson and Ormsby.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 3 members: Representatives Mosbrucker, Ranking Minority Member; Chandler, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Hoff.

Staff: Trudes Tango (786-7384).


In general, employees of cities, counties, and other political subdivisions of the state bargain their wages and working conditions under the Public Employees' Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA). Language access providers have collective bargaining rights under the PECBA as well. Language access providers are defined as independent contractors who provide spoken language interpreter services for:

Managers and employees of brokers or language access agencies are not language access providers for the purposes of collective bargaining.

The scope of bargaining for language access providers is limited to:

Retirement benefits are not subject to collective bargaining.

Language access providers may form three different statewide bargaining units, which include:

Language access providers are provided interest arbitration if the parties reach an impasse in negotiations for a contract and mediation is unsuccessful.


Summary of Bill:

The scope of bargaining for language access providers is expanded to include "health and welfare benefits" and "other economic matters." Tiered payments are included in what is considered economic compensation for the purposes of scope of bargaining.

The dates when interpretive services must be provided to the L&I and other state agencies to be considered a language access provider are clarified.


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 16, 2020.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) Interpreters have a narrower scope of bargaining compared to child care and home care providers, who can bargain for health benefits. The bill puts language access providers on par with the other providers. Interpreters are not allowed to negotiate with the state about job distribution and how appointments are allocated.  Distribution of appointments can be a "bread and butter" issue for a provider. 

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Representative Valdez, prime sponsor; Aida Sanchez-Vela, Alfonso Bautista, and Quan Tran, Interpreters United Local 1671; and Dennis Eagle, Washington Federation of State Employees.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.