Chris Wall

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Chris Wall is a trial lawyer, managing all phases of litigation, including trials and appeals in state and federal courts as well as arbitrations and administrative proceedings. He uses insights from litigation to provide his clients with strategic advice on how to avoid litigation before it starts and resolve disputes in the most cost-effective manner. He works with businesses to navigate a wide variety of matters including labor issues, wage & hour, wrongful termination, and discrimination claims. Chris draws on his experience as a judicial extern to the Honorable John Coughenour, as a law clerk for the Alaska Supreme Court, and in commercial and environmental litigation to meet the needs of his clients.

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U.S. Department of Labor Repeals Trump-Era Rule Favoring Independent Contractor Status, as Expected

As expected, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has repealed the Trump-era rule regarding classification of independent contractors.  As we discussed here, the Trump-era rule codified the “economic realities test” for use when analyzing whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Labor advocates criticized the … Continue Reading

Do Employees Still Have to Wear a Mask?

Please note: The information below is based on what we know today, and that rules and regulations are literally changing daily. Employers need to be nimble and flexible – check your local rules on a daily basis. As more and more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine, employees are starting to ask questions about mask requirements.  … Continue Reading

DOL Announces Plans To Rescind FLSA Joint Employment Rule, Withdraw FLSA Independent Contractor Rule

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that it plans to rescind the Trump DOL rule that tightened the standards by which two or more companies could be deemed a joint employer for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The same day, the DOL announced its plans to withdraw the … Continue Reading

DOL Delays Roll-Out of New Independent Contractor Rule

Another day, another Trump-era Department of Labor (“DOL”) rule that’s been put on the shelf for 60 days.  Last week, we blogged about the Biden DOL’s decision to delay the rollout of the tip rules that the Trump DOL adopted in the final weeks of its administration from March 1, 2021 until at least April … Continue Reading

DOL Publishes Final Independent Contractor Rule to Take Effect in March

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a final rule addressing independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  Independent contractor status is a critical question under the FLSA because eligible employees are entitled to the law’s protections (for example, minimum wage and overtime for non-exempt employees) but independent contractors are not.  Incorrectly … Continue Reading

EEOC Guidance: Employers Cannot Test Employees for COVID-19 Antibodies

The legal landscape continues to shift rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As we reported here and here, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) guidance allows employers to require employee temperature checks, as well as worker testing aimed at detecting COVID-19, even though such testing by an employer would ordinarily raise issues under the Americans with Disabilities … Continue Reading

Washington’s Emergency Unemployment Rules May Help Employers Retain Talent During COVID-19

Many Washington employers are looking for ways to retain skilled labor until businesses reopen.  The Washington Employment Security Department’s (“ESD”) emergency rules may help during the COVID-19 crisis.  Employers who plan to rehire employees when businesses reopen may request “standby” status for laid off employees, which has been expanded under the emergency rules. Standby status … Continue Reading

Seattle City Council Expands Paid Sick and Safe Time in Response to COVID-19

The Seattle City Council has expanded Paid Sick and Safe Time (“PSST”) in response to COVID-19.  In addition to the usual reasons for which a Seattle employee may use PSST, the new amendments provide that Seattle employees must be allowed to use their accrued PSST: when the employee’s family member’s school or place of care … Continue Reading
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