Archives: Publications

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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DOL Rescinds Trump Administration’s Joint Employer Rule

On July 29, 2021, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) rescinded the Trump Administration’s Joint Employer Rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The Rescission Final Rule was published on July 30, 2021, and becomes effective on September 28, 2021. […]

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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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All In the FAMILY: Congress Reconsiders the FAMILY Act

Washington employers have only just begun dealing with the impact of the state’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave law (PFML). They are also in the midst of anxiously awaiting the Employment Security Department’s upcoming rules implementing 2019’s Long-Term Care Trust Act. […]

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EEOC: Employers May Require Employees to Receive Covid-19 Vaccine

When news broke of the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, some employers began asking whether they could require their employees to receive the shot. On December 16, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its Covid-19 guidance to address this question. The answer: yes (usually). […]

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