I am the founder and CEO of The Derschang Group; a mix of restaurants, cafes, and bars in Seattle, Washington. My first business was Linda’s Tavern, established in 1994, a neighborhood bar that’s become a Capitol Hill institution. In the decades since, I’ve launched eleven bars and restaurants are now part of Seattle’s social fabric.
The core part of my business’s success is the amazing team of staff who bring it to life every day. I want our employees to have jobs with living wages and benefits so that they stay on with us for a long time because they are part of what makes our community what it is.
But, I know that people in Seattle and across the state are struggling with the skyrocketing cost of living and trying to make it work in their communities. Like many long-time Seattle business owners, I want to ensure that our employees can afford to work and live in the city we all call home.
As a small business, we do our best to offer employees benefits like paid time off, but as a small business, we can’t always afford to support employees through extended leaves. That’s why small business owners like me loudly and proudly fought for a statewide paid family and medical leave system to make paid leave affordable for all: for employees and for small employers.
Whether it’s to welcome a new baby or take care of a sick parent, I want my employees to be able to take the time they need to be with family. That’s why I am so excited that starting in 2020, my employees and most Washington workers will be able to take up to 16 weeks of combined paid family and medical leave. I’m proud to have supported the passage of Washington’s paid family and medical leave program which will materially boost women, the LGBTQIA community, and independent artists. With this new program, I have the peace of mind that comes with knowing our employees will be well taken care of, just like they take care of our customers and our community.
Washington’s paid family and medical leave program is a beautiful boon to my beloved city, state, and my business.
You can learn more about Washington’s up-and-coming paid family and medical leave program for all at https://momsrising.org/paidleavewa.