Author Archives: Selena Smith

Proposed Changes to Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time and Secure Scheduling Include Eliminating Union Waiver

Last week, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards announced proposed changes to Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time and Secure Scheduling.  These changes intend to incorporate the more generous provisions from Initiative 1433, the Washington Paid Sick Leave law, into Seattle’s laws.  A couple of notable proposed changes to Seattle’s law include shortening the waiting period for employee eligibility to use paid sick time from 180 to 90 calendar days following the commencement of employment.  Additionally, whereas a waiver is … Continue reading

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ADA Reasonable Accommodations Seminar – Best Practices for Employers to Avoid Liability
May 5, 2016 · 10:00-11:30 a.m. · Columbia Center, Seattle

Employment law can be complicated, especially regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). To help employers minimize their risk of liability, labor and employment law attorney Selena Smith is partnering with the Association of Washington Business to host a seminar on May 5.  Selena Smith will discuss employers’ legal obligations and rights, as well as best practices for addressing employees’ disabilities. Attendees will learn: Legal Obligations Regarding Reasonable Accommodations Effective Strategies for … Continue reading

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NLRB – Average Time Between Petition Filing and Union Election is Just 23 Days.

The NLRB recently published the average time between the filing of a petition for an election and the election date under the NLRB’s new “quickie” election rules.  The average time (23 days) has decreased by two weeks in comparison to the prior election procedures.  This leaves significantly less time for companies to campaign against unions.  The election rules make it even more imperative for companies to promptly respond to unionization efforts in their workplaces.  For guidance on lawful campaign strategies, … Continue reading

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FMLA Rules to Expand Definition of Spouse to Include Same-Sex Spouses

The Department of Labor has announced new rules expanding the definition of “spouse” under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  Under the new rules, eligible employees may take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse.  The new rules become effective March 27, 2015. The FMLA applies to employers with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.  To be eligible for FMLA leave, employees must have worked for the company at least 1,250 hours within the previous 12 months.  … Continue reading

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NLRB Provides Legal Guidance on Weingarten Rights

A recent opinion issued by the NLRB’s Division of Advice (“Advice”) may effect employers with a unionized workforce.  Advice recently concluded that an employer did not violate an employee’s Weingarten rights when the employer searched a company vehicle driven by the employee.  Under Weingarten, an employee being interviewed may be entitled to union representation at the investigative meeting, if certain conditions are met.  The NLRB’s Division of Advice concluded that the vehicle search did not constitute an investigatory interview.  Thus, … Continue reading

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NLRB Issues Final Rule on Union Ambush Elections

The National Labor Relations Board (3-2) issued its final rule regarding representation elections on December 12, 2014.  The final rule takes effect April 14, 2015.  Among other changes, the final rule requires employers to provide a list of eligible voters to the NLRB and the union within two days following the direction of an election.  This list must include not only employees’ names and home addresses, but also their personal phone numbers and email addresses (if available). The new rule … Continue reading

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Employers in Washington and Oregon Should be Aware of Paid Sick / Safe Time Requirements in Seattle and Portland

Two years ago the City of Seattle passed a new ordinance regulating paid sick and safe leave to employees.  Portland has recently followed suit.  As a result, if Employers have employees who perform work in Seattle or Portland – even on an occasional basis – they may be required to pay sick or safe time in accordance with those city ordinances. Seattle Paid Sick / Safe Time Under Seattle’s regulations, employers are required to provide paid sick/safe time (“PSST”) if … Continue reading

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