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Total Articles: 10

Washington State Enacts Healthy Starts Act, Requires Accommodation for Pregnant Employees Regardless of Disability

The new Washington state Healthy Starts Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide accommodations to pregnant employees above and beyond those accommodations required by other available laws, including the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). Some of the required accommodations must be provided without medical certification and regardless of whether such accommodations would create an undue hardship.

The Current State of Meal and Rest Break Law in Washington State

This article summarizes certain aspects of the current Washington State law of meal and rest breaks, taking into account the latest appellate ruling on the topic, Brady v. AutoZone Stores, Inc., 188 Wn.2d 576, 397 P.3d 120 (2017). The requirements described here apply to non-exempt adults in non-agricultural employment.

Washington Employers: Prepare To Face New Workplace Laws

The past year has brought multiple new workplace laws that will require employers in Washington to change several key policies and procedures. Below is an update that provides a general overview to help you prepare for these new laws, in the order of the effective dates of each law.

Washington Enacts Healthy Starts Act: New Workplace Accommodation Protections for Pregnant Employees

Washington recently enacted new workplace accommodation protections for pregnant employees.

Washington’s New Healthy Starts Act Requires Employers to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Pregnant Workers Absent the Showing of a Disability

Washington’s legislature recently passed a new Healthy Starts Act (the “Act”),1 which places significant obligations on Washington employers with respect to pregnant employees. These new obligations are not otherwise required under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Act, which became effective July 23, 2017, requires Washington employers with 15 or more employees to reasonably accommodate pregnant employees regardless of a disability, provides a list of such accommodations to be considered, and places specific prohibitions upon employers with respect to such accommodations.

Washington Joins Growing List of States with Laws Protecting Biometric Information

Not to be outdone by the recent attention to biometric information in Illinois, and the Prairie State’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), Washington enacted a biometric data protection statute of its own, HB 1493, which became effective July 23, 2017.

Washington Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

All Washington employers must provide paid family and medical leave under a bill signed by Governor Jay Inslee on July 5, 2017.

Washington State Approves Paid Family and Medical Leave: What Employers Need to Know

With Governor Inslee’s signature on July 5, 2017, Washington State joined just a handful of states mandating paid family and medical leave. Washington’s leave is funded by both employers and employees, and employees will be eligible to receive benefits beginning in 2020. The new paid leave program provides benefits of up to 90 percent of the employee’s income and matches Washington, D.C., in providing the highest percentage of income benefit of any state or district in the United States.

Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance Backfired, New Research Finds

When Seattle raised its minimum wage from $9.47 to $11.00 in 2015, the increase had little effect on employment.

Gig Economy Portable Benefits Bill Introduced In Washington State

We’ve written before about a proposal in New York that would permit gig companies to pay into a benefit fund for workers allowing them freedom to develop portable benefits; now, Washington state is considering a similar concept. House Bill 2109, introduced this legislative session, would take a giant leap by creating portable, prorated, universal benefits for workers in the sharing economy.