On June 30, 2021, Washington State officially reopened, thanks to the progress made in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. By “reopen” we mean the return of industry sectors to normal capacity and operation under Governor Jay Inslee’s Washington Ready plan. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries published new requirements and guidance for employers, outlining what employers must now do to continue to protect employees from COVID-19, now that the state has reopened. Below is a summary … Continue reading
On November 5, 2020, the Washington Supreme Court struck down the overtime exemption for dairy workers in Martinez-Cuevas v. DeRuyter Brothers Dairy. The decision upended the expectations of dairy farm employers based on the historical exemption for agricultural workers that had been in place for nearly a half-century. The court’s decision has far-reaching implications for agricultural employers from dairy farmers to winegrowers and everyone in between. Although the court’s decision only addressed overtime exemptions for dairy workers, agricultural employers have … Continue reading
Employer Vaccination Policies and Religious Liberty By Joshua Daniel Brittingham As an employer, your plate is full with the COVID-19 pandemic. You have grappled with masking, distancing, and physical barrier requirements for over a year, earnestly working to keep your customers and employees safe—and struggling to remain compliant with a moving target of regulations. Now, you are also forced to think through the implications that come with widely available vaccinations. Should you mandate or incentivize employee vaccination? These issues alone … Continue reading
As more and more Americans become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, many Employers are wrestling with a number of questions regarding how to most effectively get as many of their personnel vaccinated as possible. We previously looked at the circumstances in which an employer can require employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19, but what if your company would rather incentivize employees to get the vaccine, instead of requiring it? There are many advantages that will come from having a workforce … Continue reading
Good news from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for employers in the maritime industry and other employers who utilize rotational schedules for employees. When calculating FMLA continuous leave, the Department of Labor (DOL) has long applied the definition of “workweek” to mean a week that an employee actually worked or would have worked, had he or she not been on FMLA leave. This resulted in weeks a rotational employee would have been off not being counted in the employee’s … Continue reading
Your small business has worked hard to grapple with COVID-19 safety rules. You genuinely care about employee safety. You have paid attention to the CDC guidelines and followed them dutifully. You have implemented a mask policy, increased cleaning of common areas, and required physical distancing. You feel as if you’ve “checked the box” on COVID-19 compliance. Suddenly, a knock at the door of your business reveals an inspector from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries Division of Occupational … Continue reading
Many employers are considering whether they can or should require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available. Distribution and availability of the vaccine is such that the general public does not yet have access to it, but employers should begin considering how they want to address this issue. As with any topic that involves the health and medical care of employees, employers should know to proceed cautiously. There are a number of factors that should be considered … Continue reading
Governor Inslee’s November 13 Travel Advisory states that persons arriving to Washington from other states or countries should self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. This does not apply to those involved in Essential Travel. Washington residents are further encouraged to stay home, or stay within their region of the state, as doing so reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission to other parts of the state.
We understand the difficulties that businesses are facing to stay up-to-date on the ever-evolving legal landscape as it relates to COVID-19. Please join us 9:00 -11:00 AM PST on November 10, 2020, for our 2020 Labor & Employment Law Webinar. Our agenda includes: Labor Law Update in the COVID World; COVID-19 and the Workplace and Washington Employment Law Update in the COVID World. Please contact, via email, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
(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