News & Publications

Recent News

We keep you up-to-date with the latest happenings, insights, and accomplishments within our firm and the dynamic world of labor and employment law. From significant legal victories to thought-provoking articles and updates on industry trends, explore the latest information that showcases our dedication to excellence and our commitment to providing valuable resources for our clients and the community.

Recent Publications

Seattle-Area Employers Get Ready – New Requirements Coming When Using Independent Contractors

On June 14, 2021, the Seattle City Council passed the Independent Contractor Protections Ordinance (“ICPO”), which is slated to take effect on September 1, 2022. See SMC 14.34. The ICPO will apply to all “covered independent contractors who perform work for a covered hiring entity.” The lengthy ordinance runs on for 49 pages and is full of traps for the unaware, so let us help you unpack it. […]

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Washington Cares Act on Hold

In late December 2021, the State Legislature and Governor Inslee delayed premium assessment under the Washington Cares Act (the “Act”) prior to its scheduled January 1, 2022, start date. Under this pause, the state will not collect premiums from employers under the Act prior to April 2022. The Legislature is slated to address potential changes to the Act during the legislative session beginning January 10, 2022. […]

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OSHA’s New Rule on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Under Fire

On November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its highly anticipated emergency temporary standard (ETS) regarding COVID-19 vaccination and testing. Under the ETS, employers with 100 or more employees must require employees to either be vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test weekly and wear a face covering when indoors. The ETS also requires employers to pay employees for the time it takes to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects that prevent them from working. […]

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Washington State Puts Time Traveling Out of Town on the Payroll

Washington courts have a long-standing policy of protecting employees and routinely hold employers liable in wage and hour cases, generously interpreting state law in favor of employees. Wage and hour claims can be particularly expensive. Employers can be liable not only for the claimed owed wages but also for double damages, 12% prejudgment interest, and the employee’s attorney’s fees and costs. […]

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Ninth Circuit Says “Paramour Preference” is Not Sex Discrimination

This past month, the Ninth Circuit held that workplace favoritism toward a supervisor’s romantic partner is not unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII. The decision, Maner v. Dignity Health, brought the Ninth Circuit into alignment with all other circuits that have considered Title VII claims brought under the “paramour preference” theory. […]

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Best Practices for a Post-Pandemic Workplace

As of June 30, 2021, Washington State businesses are now able to open at full capacity and have fewer requirements to follow to protect employees from COVID-19. As businesses prepare to return to “normal” pre-pandemic capacity and operations, however, they should also be prepared for the fact that the workplaces they will be returning to reflect a post-pandemic “new normal.” […]

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New Administration, New Rules

Now that President Biden’s Administration (“Administration”) has had time to settle in, we are seeing, and will continue to see, a shift in regulations regarding the employer and employee relationship. It appears that the Administration is targeting racial and gender inequities, employee misclassifications, and protections for LGBTQ+ employees. To accomplish this, the Administration is providing substantial budget allocations to the U.S. Department of Labor and signing new Executive Orders (“EO”). […]

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Are You and Your Employees Ready for the Long-Term Care Mandate?

A first-in-the-nation long-term care benefit and payroll tax mandated by the Washington Legislature in 2019 will soon go into effect, and employers and employees who have been focused on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic will need to shift their focus towards this new mandate and its fast-approaching deadlines for compliance. […]

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Employers Have Until May 31, 2021 to Provide Notice of COBRA Subsidy in American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). One of the ARPA provisions provides for a 100-percent COBRA subsidy and additional COBRA enrollment rights for employees (and their families) who lost employer-sponsored health coverage as a result of an involuntary termination of employment or a reduction of hours. Because of the notice requirements in the ARPA regarding the new COBRA subsidy program, employers will need to act promptly to comply with the May 31, 2021, deadline. […]

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Washington State Supreme Court Takes on the Constitution – Again

In another landmark decision, the Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling on March 4, 2020, calling into question more than 70 years of legal precedent. The decision, Woods v. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, marks the second time since November that the Court has pitted the State Constitution against decades-old legislation to arrive at a modern interpretation. […]

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