Category Archives: Legal Updates

ESD Q&A – CARES Act Federal Stimulus

(as of April 21, 2020) Washington ESD has provided the following Q&A as it relates to the CARES Act federal stimulus package: Q: I heard there is legislation that has passed to expand unemployment insurance, how does this affect me? A: This legislation will likely help many people, including people who typically don’t qualify for unemployment benefits – including those who don’t have the usually required 680 hours. We are working as quickly as possible to implement the changes under the … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Legal Updates, Unemployment Benefits (WA), Washington | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

ESD Emergency Rulemaking

Here is a summarized list of the emergency rules promulgated by ESD related to COVID-19: March 25, 2020 CR 103E (Shared Work)| Emergency rules (3/25/2020) The emergency rule makes changes to shared work eligibility.   March 24, 2020 CR 103E (Job search optional)| Emergency rules (3/24/2020) The emergency rule makes changes to job search requirements for Unemployment Insurance claimants.   March 20, 2020 CR 103E (Consolidated Standby Rules, March 9, March 13, and March 20, 2020)| Emergency rules (3/20/2020) The emergency rule consolidates standby emergency rules from … Continue reading

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Posted in Unemployment Benefits (WA), Washington | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New DOL Guidance on the FFCRA

Posted on March 25, 2020, by Josh Brittingham On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), Wage and Hour Division, announced its first official set of guidance about the paid-leave provisions in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), enacted on March 18. New implementing regulations for the FFCRA are forthcoming. DOL issued a fact sheet for employees, a fact sheet for employers, and a Q&A document. These materials clarify the DOL’s position on FFCRA’s requirements and protections, which are discussed here. For convenience, … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Leave Laws | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Governor Inslee’s Orders

(as of May 1, 2020) On April 24, 2020, Governor Inslee announced his plan to allow “low-risk”  construction projects to proceed here. This “Phase 1 Construction Restart” memorandum allows “authorized construction” to proceed.  “Authorized construction” includes (1) construction previously authorized  under Proclamation 20-25 and Gov. Inslee’s March 25, 2020, memo on construction, and (2) construction activity that is needed to fulfill an obligation under a contract effective prior to March 23, 2020, or authorized by a government-issued permit obtained prior to March 23, … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Legal Updates, Uncategorized, Washington Law Against Discrimination | Leave a comment

FEDERAL LEGISLATION: COVID-19 Related FMLA and Paid Sick Leave Requirements (as of March 19, 2020)

On March 18, 2020,  the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) (the Act) was signed into law. This article discusses the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Paid Sick Leave provisions related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Due to the immense effect this Act may have on small businesses, I have provided a thorough review of relevant questions. APPLICABILITY: When do the COVID-19 related FMLA and Paid Sick Leave provisions take effect? Within 15 days of enactment, … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Leave Laws, New Legislation, Oregon, Paid Leave, Sick Leave, Washington | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits in Washington (as of March 18, 2020)

(as of April 21, 2020) Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD) has issued emergency rules for the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.  They have also prepared a comparison guide for some common COVID-19 scenarios that affect benefits. Here are Summaries and Questions and Answers provided by the ESD for Employers related to COVID-19: CARES Act and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)   Federal stimulus in the recently enacted CARES Act creates Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for businesses and workers affected by COVID-19.   How will the CARES Act help me? … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Unemployment Benefits (WA), Washington | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

COVID-19 and WARN Act Layoffs (as of March 18, 2020)

In reviewing whether layoffs are required, there are a number of legal factors that may come into play.  One of those is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act.  The WARN Act was designed to offer protection to workers by requiring employers to provide 60 days notification in advance of plant closings and covered mass layoffs. Q:        Does the WARN Act still apply if are forced to suspend operations on account of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its aftermath? A:        … Continue reading

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COVID-19 and the Union (as of April 1, 2020)

The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) imposes on employers the duty to bargain in good faith over mandatory subjects of bargaining such as wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. Generally speaking, even in emergency situations, such as this one, employers are required to bargain with the union over unilateral changes concerning mandatory subjects of bargaining, unless your collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise. Here are several questions that we have received. Q:        Are there any exceptions to the general … Continue reading

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COVID-19 and the ADA (as of March 18, 2020)

(as of April 21, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its guidance on issues concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) , and employer obligations related to COVID-19.  The Q&A Section is provided below: What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws Technical Assistance Questions and Answers All EEOC materials related to COVID-19 are collected at eeoc.gov/coronavirus. The EEOC enforces workplace anti-discrimination laws, including the Americans with … Continue reading

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New Washington Law Restricts Non-Competition Agreements

In May 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed a new bill into law, restricting non-competition agreements in Washington.  The law makes non-competition agreements for employees earning less than $100,000 per year unenforceable.  For employees earning over $100,000 annually, it creates the presumption that such an agreement for a period longer than 18 months is unreasonable and unenforceable.  The law also makes non-competition agreements for independent contractors earning less than $250,000 annually unenforceable.  These salary thresholds will be adjusted annually due to … Continue reading

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Posted in Arbitration, Legal Updates, New Legislation, Noncompete Agreement | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment