Tag: Washington

Use Workshare Program to Cut Costs and Keep Workers

Are you looking for ways to hang on to staff, yet reduce costs?  Those goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive if you choose to participate in your state’s workshare program.  A workshare program allows your employees to collect some unemployment benefits but continue working part time.  Here’s an article from the Center for Law and … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Decides Morgan v. Kingen – Bankruptcy is No Defense

The Washington Supreme Court issued a decision today in Morgan v. Kingen, holding that bankruptcy is not a valid defense to a willful withholding of wages under RCW 49.52.070.  The plaintiffs in this case worked at Funsters Grand Casino in SeaTac, Washington.  The casino was not a success and the owners voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy … Continue Reading

Extension of Federal Benefits to Same-Sex Partners Falls Short of Goals

The memorandum issued by President Obama yesterday extends some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees, including access to a government insurance program that pays for long-term conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, and to sick leave to care for a sick same-sex partner or a non-biological child.  However, the extension did not provide eligibility … Continue Reading

Washington’s Minimum Wage To Rise to $8.55 January 1, 2009

Washington employers get ready to give your minimum-wage employees a raise:  effective January 1, 2009, Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $8.55 per hour, allowing Washington to maintain the highest minimum wage in the country.  For more information, click here to read the Department of Labor and Industries’ Press Release.  Washington’s current minimum wage is … Continue Reading

“Blonde Jokes” Support Workplace Emotional Distress Claim

Usually when I get an employment lawsuit alleging "negligent infliction of emotional distress," I chuckle to myself and immediately begin drafting a motion to dismiss.  However, a recent case out of the Washington Court of Appeals may indicate that NIED claims are not totally frivolous! In Strong v. Wright, the plaintiff sued her former supervisor because … Continue Reading

Washington: Public Policy Against Domestic Violence Supports Claim of Wrongful Discharge

Is a Washington employer prohibited from terminating an at-will employee because she took leave from work to protect herself from domestic violence?  Yes, according to last week’s opinion from the Washington Supreme Court in Danny v. Laidlaw Services.  In Danny, the plaintiff sued her former employer in federal court, alleging she was terminated for taking leave … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Asks Washington Supreme Court to Define “Disability” under WLAD

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this week certified a question to the Washington Supreme Court, seeking that court’s help in defining "disability" under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD).  Two years ago, in McClarty v. Totem Electric, 137 P.3d 844 (2006), the Washington Supreme Court significantly narrowed the definition of "disability" under the WLAD.  In 2007, … Continue Reading

City of Vancouver Settles Race Discrimination Suit for 1.65 Million

The City of Vancouver, Washington announced yesterday that it will pay a former police officer $1.65 million to settle a federal retaliation and racial discrimination lawsuit he filed two years ago over his termination.  To read the Oregonian’s coverage on the case, click here.  This isn’t plaintiff Navin Sharma’s first settlement with the city:  he settled another … Continue Reading

Jail Time For Washington Employer

As part of a plea agreement reached earlier this month, Jerry and James Schram, co-owners of a Vancouver, Washington construction company, will serve 30 days of jail time and perform community service.  Their crime?  Hiding information in an attempt to reduce their workers’ compensation premiums. In addition, the Schrams also pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for … Continue Reading
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