Washington Paid Family Leave Is Coming in 2019: Employers Need to Start Preparing

Under Washington’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, eligible employees will be entitled to paid leave up to 12 weeks for their own serious health condition (medical leave) or for family care (family leave), up to 16 weeks combined family and medical leave, and up to 2 additional weeks for certain pregnancy complications. Employers must begin remitting premiums and submitting quarterly reports for PFML starting on January 1, 2019. Starting January 1, 2020, employees may begin taking PFML … Continue reading

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Posted in Firm News, Leave Laws, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Seminar, Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Federal Judge Dismisses EEOC Cased Based on Lack of Details in Complaint

Recently, a federal judge in the District of Columbia dismissed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) lawsuit against Walmart on procedural grounds relating to the level of detail required in a complaint.  This case serves as a reminder of the the necessary elements for a reasonable accommodation claim.  In this case, two employees with hearing limitations alleged that the managers at the Walmart store where they worked failed to accommodate their disability.  The two employees had sought sign language interpretation … Continue reading

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The EEOC Explains How Blanket Attendance and Leave Policies can Disadvantage Workers with Disabilities

In July 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a consent decree involving claims of disability discrimination against a metal products manufacturer.  According to the EEOC, this manufacturer violated the law when it: 1) awarded attendance points to employees regardless of the reason for absence, and 2) automatically terminated employees who did not return to work after taking extended leave. Regarding #1, the EEOC explained that this blind points system meant that employees taking leave for ADA or FMLA … Continue reading

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Posted in ADA, EEOC, FMLA, Handbook Policies, Leave Laws, Reasonable Accommodation, Sick Leave | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Final Administrative Rules for Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance and a Change Regarding “Normal Hourly Compensation”

This month, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards announced its final revisions to the administrative rules for Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time (“PSST”) ordinance.  The rules become effective July 1, 2018.  Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance requires employers operating in Seattle to provide all employees with paid leave to care for themselves or a family member with a physical or mental health condition, medical appointment, or a critical safety issue, among other reasons.  The final administrative rules … Continue reading

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Posted in Leave Laws, Legal Updates, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Safe Time, Seattle, Secure Scheduling, Sick Leave | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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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New Law Limits Discovery in Washington Law Against Discrimination Suits

On March 15, 2018, Washington governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 6027 into law.  This law impacts discovery in cases brought under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”).  The law becomes effective on June 7, 2018.  This law states that a plaintiff who seeks non-economic damages (such as emotional distress) under WLAD does not thereby waive the privileged status of his or her medical records.  A plaintiff will be deemed to have waived the privilege of his or her medical records … Continue reading

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Employer Tax Credit Available for Paid FMLA leave

The tax plan that was signed into law at the end of 2017 creates a new tax credit for employers.  The credit appears in Section 13403 of the Act, and applies to employers who pay employee leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  The credit begins in 2018 and as of now, is set to expire at the end of 2019.  Although possibly short-lived, employers may want to claim the benefit while they can. Employers may obtain a … Continue reading

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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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Posted in Labor, Leave Laws, Safe Time, Seattle, Secure Scheduling, Sick Leave | 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

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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Posted in ADA, Firm News, FMLA, Reasonable Accommodation, Seattle, Seminar | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment