Author Archives: Erik Laiho

Supreme Court Rules Employee First Amendment Rights Trump Public-Sector Union “Agency Fees”

On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued one of the most anticipated decisions of the year, ruling that nonunion workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public-sector unions.  In the Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council (“AFSCME”) case, Illinois state employee Mark Janus challenged the $45 monthly fee he paid to the public-sector AFSCME union.  Janus was not a member of the AFSCME union.  However, public-sector employees who declined to join … Continue reading

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Posted in Labor, Legal Updates, Supreme Court | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Year, New Paid Sick Leave Law

Washington’s new paid sick leave law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.  The new law contains many changes to existing law, including paid sick leave at a minimum of one hour per every forty hours worked, required carryover of up to forty hours of sick leave, and paid sick leave for part-time and seasonal workers. Employers should be prepared to implement any required changes to their employment policies to comply with the January 1 deadline. In addition to the text of the paid sick leave … Continue reading

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Posted in Leave Laws, Sick Leave, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment

COURTS ORDER REINSTATEMENT FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ENGAGED IN OFFENSIVE AND PROFANE SOCIAL MEDIA CONDUCT TOWARDS THEIR EMPLOYER

Over the last several years, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has issued several decisions overturning employer discipline for employee conduct on social media.  In a recent decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal court upheld the NLRB’s decision and ordered reinstatement for employees who posted a profane comment and approved an offensive post about their employer.  This appeals court decision contains some important warnings for employers who are considering discipline for employees’ negative social media conduct. … Continue reading

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Posted in Handbook Policies, Labor, Legal Updates, NLRB, Social Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH THE EEOC AGAINST ABERCROMBIE & FITCH IN HIRING PRACTICE CASE ADDRESSING RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

The Supreme Court issued a controversial decision which should prompt Employers to review their hiring practices and criteria.  In the recent EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch case, the Supreme Court ruled that Abercrombie & Fitch discriminated against Samantha Elauf (“Elauf”) based on her religious practice of wearing a headscarf. Elauf, a Muslim, wore her headscarf to her Abercrombie & Fitch job interview.  During the interview, neither Elauf nor Abercrombie & Fitch representatives discussed her religion or her headscarf.  However, after … Continue reading

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Posted in EEOC, Reasonable Accommodation, Reasonable Accomodation, Religious Discrimination, Supreme Court, Title VII | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Update on Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights recently released its proposed rules for Seattle’s $15 per hour minimum wage ordinance.  These administrative rules attempt to clarify initial issues raised with the ordinance, such as when employees must be paid the City’s minimum wage when working in Seattle on an “occasional basis,” which employees are exempt from the City’s minimum wage, and when “service charges” for hospitality employees are considered part of the employee’s wage. The City Office for Civil Rights is … Continue reading

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Posted in Legal Updates, Seattle, Uncategorized, Wage and Hour, Wage and Hour | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Penalties and Transitional Relief Under the Affordable Care Act

On January 1, 2015, the “employer shared responsibility” penalty, a core provision of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “ACA” or “Obamacare”), becomes effective.  While the penalty is substantial, there is some transitional relief from the penalty available to some employers who meet specific qualifying criteria. The employer shared responsibility provision requires large employers to offer affordable health insurance that provides minimum value for all full-time employees or pay a penalty.  If the employer does not offer health coverage to at … Continue reading

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Seattle’s New $15 Minimum Wage

Seattle made national news by becoming the first major city in the United States to pass a $15 minimum wage law.  The law eventually increases the minimum wage in the City of Seattle to $15 per hour.  The ordinance can be found at: http://www.seattle.gov/council/issues/minimumwage/attachments/Ord_124490.pdf. The City of Seattle law applies to all employers who have at least one employee who works within the city limits for two hours or more during a two-week period.  How quickly an Employer is required … Continue reading

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