The unemployment rate in Washington state is holding steady at 6.1 percent according to the latest numbers out Wednesday from the state Employment Security Department.

Benefit Corporations Look Beyond The Profit Motive

Jun 18, 2014

A corporation has one core obligation: to make money. But some companies are signing a deal, promising to create not only profit but also a tangible benefit to society and the environment. They're called benefit corporations, and their movement has caught the ear of lawmakers across the country.

In the tiny town of Gilsum, N.H., you'll find the headquarters of W.S. Badger Co. Inc. The company makes all-natural cosmetics marketed under the name Badger Balm. When CEO Bill Whyte founded the company two decades ago, the staff was lean.

Seattle Education Association's Facebook page.

Marcie Sillman talks with Politico's senior education reporter Stephanie Simon about the challenges facing teachers unions.

Photo SPD Blotter

In March 2012, the Seattle Police Department made an unorthodox hire: Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, a former cops reporter who had worked at The Stranger and was writing a blog,

Flickr Photo/jonathan donavan (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Marcie Sillman talks with Professor Brad Harrington, executive director of the Boston College Center for Work and Family, about the importance of paternity leave for working fathers and their families.

Marcie Sillman talks with Inside Higher Ed reporter Colleen Flaherty about the push by the Service Employees International Union to unionize adjunct faculty members.

Marcie Sillman speaks with Medina Mayor Michael Luis, author of "Century 21 City: Seattle's Fifty Year Journey from World's Fair to World Stage," who says that Seattle -- WTO riots and the $15 minimum wage notwithstanding -- has a pattern of indulging radicals and then returning to business as usual.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

David Hyde gets the scoop from KUOW's Deborah Wang about what happened at the city council meeting Monday night when a historical $15 minimum wage was unanimously passed.

Then, Marcie Sillman speaks with Steve Caldiera, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association, about his plans to sue Seattle to overturn the minimum wage ordinance.

Last, David Hyde talks with the advocacy group 15 Now about whether they will move forward with their own ballot measure to raise the city's minimum wage faster.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

In a unanimous vote, to a standing ovation, the Seattle City Council approved a bill to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The crowd cheered “We made 15 possible!” after the reading of the vote tally in a meeting marked with passionate pleas for its passage from the public as well as council members.

Failed Amendments

The packed crowd of vocal proponents for the passage of the bill, many of whom gave their personal stories during the section of public comment, booed the failure of four amendments to the City Council’s plan.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Note: I'm following up on this story, so if you'd like to send me photos of your lactation room, please do. Email me at The story will run in October 2015. Thanks!  

When I returned from maternity leave earlier this month, my boss Jenna showed me to the lactation room.

From DESC's Facebook page.

David Hyde talks with Bill Hobson, executive director of Downtown Emergency Service Center, about how his organization would implement the $15 minimum wage and why he's advocating that the city help.

Ross Reynolds talks to Giovanni Peri, an economics professor at U.C. Davis, about how foreign-born workers in science and technology might affect the health of economies. Peri argues that the federal government should increase the cap on H-1B worker visas, which would ultimately encourage economic growth and innovation.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Steve Scher talks with David Meinert, Seattle nightlife entrepreneur and restaurantuer about his experience on the mayor's income inequality advisory committee. Marcie Sillman gets more on the story with Q13 Political Analyst C.R. Douglas.

Jean Godden's Facebook page

City of Seattle employees who are women earn on average 9.5 percent less than men.

Credit Wikimedia Commons

What distinguishes a contractor from an employee? The Washington State Supreme Court is deliberating that question now. The decision could have big implications, because businesses increasingly rely on contractors.