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Total Articles: 10

Washington Paid Family And Medical Leave Is Imminent: Are You Ready?

Washington employers, get ready. Starting January 1, 2019, the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD) will begin collecting premium payments from employers so the historic Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program can be implemented. While the benefits will not be able to be accessed by workers until 2020, don’t be fooled into thinking that you still have another year to prepare for this new law; you need to begin your preparations now. What do Washington employers need to know to get ready?

Washington State Governor Issues Executive Order Discouraging Arbitration Agreements and Class Action Waivers for Government Contractors

On June 12, 2018, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued an executive order that directs Washington agencies to favor government contractors that do not require employees to submit to individual arbitration of claims.

Seattle Passes Ordinance to Expand Employment Rights to Domestic Workers

On July 27, 2018, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed into law the Domestic Worker Ordinance (“the DWO”). Effective July 1, 2019, the ordinance is expected to impact approximately 33,000 domestic workers in Seattle. The new law mirrors similar efforts in several states to expand employment rights to domestic workers.

Court Tosses Lawsuit by Drivers Challenging Seattle Ridesharing Union Ordinance

On August 9, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of independent drivers challenging a 2015 ordinance by the City of Seattle that allows ridesharing drivers to organize.

Washington Law Restricts Employers’ Access to Medical Records in WLAD Cases

Washington recently passed a law limiting discovery of medical records and other medical information for discrimination claims brought under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD). The law went into effect on June 7, 2018.

Washington State Considers Raising Minimum Salary for Overtime-Exempt Workers as High as $74,880

The minimum salary for most overtime-exempt employees in Washington state could be raised as high as $74,880 under a proposal being considered by the state labor department.

Workplace Law Update For Washington Employers, Summer 2018 Edition

Washington’s lawmakers and regulators have not taken a summer holiday this year, remaining active by passing new regulations based on legislation from the last legislative cycle or reacting to new case law by creating new legal obligations. Their actions continue to challenge Washington employers to keep up with evolving workplace laws. The good news? We’ve put together summaries of some of the more significant recent developments for you here.

Revised Seattle Paid Sick & Safe Time Rules Give Employers Limited Time to Comply

Seattle, Washington’s Office of Labor Standards (OLS) revised its rules concerning the Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance. The rules come about a year-and-a-half after the Ordinance was amended to better align with the state PSST law, which took effect January 1, 2018. Unsurprisingly, in many instances the revised rules incorporate state law standards. Although many revisions are merely linguistic changes that do not substantively alter existing rules, there are notable changes and deletions we will highlight, along with a new non-PSST rule that will affect leave management.

Seattle Ordinance Giving Drivers Right to Collectively Bargain Not Preempted by NLRA

A landmark law giving drivers of app-based transportation companies, such as Uber and Lyft, the right to collectively bargain is not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, a three-member panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. U.S. Chamber of Commerce v. City of Seattle, No. 17-35640 (9th Cir. May 11, 2018).

Washington State Enacts Fair Chance Act

Washington State has joined a number of other jurisdictions, including the Washington cities of Seattle and Spokane, by passing a “ban-the-box” law, known as the Washington Fair Chance Act (HB 1298). The Act prohibits employers from obtaining any information about an applicant's criminal record (whether by a question on an application for employment, inquiring orally or in writing, receiving information through a criminal history background check, or otherwise) until after the employer initially determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. It makes it unlawful for employers to advertise employment openings in a way that excludes people with criminal records from applying, or to implement a policy or practice that automatically or categorically excludes individuals with a criminal record from consideration prior to an initial determination that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. Once the employer has initially determined that the applicant is otherwise qualified, the law does not restrict the employer from inquiring into or obtain information about a criminal record, although it also does not limit any existing restrictions that apply.