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Privacy in the Workplace: Employee Surveillance

(This blog is the first installment in a multi-part series regarding privacy in the workplace.) Employers often seek to monitor or surveil their employees in the workplace. Though workplace monitoring, searches, and surveillance can be a valuable tool for any employer, doing so is not without risk. Employers should make sure their workplace search, monitoring,

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Working in the Age of COVID-19

As parts of the country begin to re-open following closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, employers will face many issues regarding the best way to bring their employees back to work. Throughout the pandemic, federal agencies, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, have provided guidance for employers regarding the application of federal laws to

Overtime Gets an Overhaul

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries announced sweeping changes, effective July 1, 2020, to the rules determining whether an employee in Washington State is entitled to receive overtime compensation. In Washington State, the default rule is that all employees are entitled to overtime compensation. There are exceptions, however, when the employee meets three important

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Interactive Process

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship for the employer. Such accommodations could include making existing facilities more accessible, restructuring a position, offering a modified work schedule, or even reassigning the employee to a vacant position.

To Sign or Not to Sign (That Severance Agreement)? That is the Question

Although Washington employers are generally not required to provide severance pay to a terminated employee (except if promised in an employee handbook or employment contract), many employers still offer severance as a gesture of good will. There are any several factors, however, that should be considered when deciding whether to sign a severance agreement. An

Don’t Let Your Former Employer “Blacklist” You

The Washington Law Against Discrimination makes it unlawful for an employer to “discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate” against a job applicant or employee on the basis of that person’s protected characteristic such as race, age, or sex. Likewise, the WLAD also makes it unlawful for an employer to do the same because he or she

Complexity for Employers in New Washington State Sick Leave Law

Beginning on January 1, 2018, all employers in the State of Washington are required to provide paid sick leave to certain employees. This new law implements Initiative 1433, passed by Washington voters in 2016. While employers may be compliant in theory, the new law and regulations include a number of requirements and obligations that employers

More Than a Name: The Legal Reality of Hiring Independent Contractors

The Huffington Post recently ran the headline “Why We’re All Becoming Independent Contractors.”{http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/why-were-all-becoming-independent-contractors_b_6731760.html}. The article recounts that GM and Uber are valued at $60 billion and $40 billion respectively, but that GM has over 200,000 employees while Uber has a paltry 850 employees. Uber has a simple, but concerning, explanation for this discrepancy – Uber’s

Changes in FLSA Regulations Will Impact Washington Employers

The Fair Labor Standards Act, commonly referred to as the FLSA, is a federal statute that establishes baseline obligations of employers with respect to minimum wages, overtime pay, record keeping and youth employment, in the United States. Most states and local governments, including Washington and Seattle, have created their own laws that supplement and overlap