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Ask A Legal Professional

08/29/2014 : Are there legal risks associated with succession planning?

07/25/2014 : Can a Washington State employer use a credit history report in considering applicants for employment?

06/27/2014 : Is it OK to have a handbook policy asking employees to keep their wage information confidential?

05/30/2014 : Does Washington’s discrimination law require an employer to take action every time an employee complains of “harassment” or a “hostile” work environment?

04/25/2014 : After I hand out my annual bonuses and wage increases to employees, I tell them the information is confidential and should not be shared with others. Can I do that?

03/28/2014 : Must I pay employees for the time spent getting in and out of their protective or sanitary work clothes?

02/28/2014 : I classify my employees as independent contractors but was recently told that there are major consequences for misclassification. Is that true?

01/31/2014 : Are there any changes in the coverage of corporate officers as it relates to unemployment benefits?

12/31/2013 : Can a Washington employer regulate body art and body piercings in the workplace?

12/27/2013 : In light of recent events, do I have to pay employees when the office was closed for snow days?

11/29/2013 : Are there legal risks associated with succession planning?

10/25/2013 : What are my initial obligations when an employee asks about a disability accommodation?

08/30/2013 : We have a company policy which prohibits employee clothing with messages “derogatory to the Company.” Is that too broad?

07/26/2013 : Do I have to pay my interns?

06/28/2013 : What is Seattle’s “Ban the Box” Ordinance?

05/31/2013 : Does the age at which a child becomes disabled have an impact on whether a parent can take FMLA to care for the child?

04/26/2013 : Should I provide my employees with company-owned mobile devices or reimburse them for use of their own devices?

03/29/2013 : How would the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) impact Washington employers with employees in same-sex marriages?

02/22/2013 : I overhear my employees teasing each other, engaging in horseplay, and calling each other names. It seems to be in good fun, and they are friends. Should I have any concerns?

01/25/2013 : Should I be concerned about pending flex-time legislation?

12/28/2012 : How does Referendum 74 affect employers?

11/30/2012 : Does the recent passage of the initiative legalizing marijuana pose hazards for pre-employment and post-accident drug/alcohol testing by employers?

10/26/2012 : When my firm performs work under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act subject to prevailing wage laws, can I get credit for employer-paid fringe benefit premiums for affected workers?

09/26/2012 : As a non-union employer, do I have to be concerned about the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?

08/31/2012 : If my business is located outside of Seattle, am I covered by the new Seattle safe and sick leave law?

07/27/2012 : After I hand out my annual bonuses and wage increases to employees, I tell them the information is confidential and should not be shared with others. Can I do that?

06/29/2012 : Can an employer perform criminal history background checks on applicants and consider this information in hiring decisions?

05/25/2012 : Can I, as an employer, compel employees and/or applicants to give me access to their social media accounts?

04/27/2012 : Must an employer post the NLRB Employee Rights notice by April 30?

03/30/2012 : Does Washington's discrimination law require an employer to take action every time an employee complains of "harassment" or a "hostile" work environment?

2/24/2012 : Are employers prohibited from taking action against employees who claim to be due overtime or make other claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

1/27/2012 : In light of recent events, do I have to pay employees when the office was closed for snow days?

12/23/2011 : As a union employer, is there anything I should do in preparation for a trust fund audit?

11/25/2011 : May I ask for a doctor's note if an employee claims he or she is disabled?

10/28/2011 : If the company has already provided an accommodation to a disabled employee, does the company have any continuing duty to monitor and upgrade the accommodation if needed?

09/30/2011 : Are there legal issues when an employer attempts to restrict its employee's use of social media to discuss issues in the workplace?

08/26/2011 : I'm the subject of an unfair labor practice charge and I suspect that the charging employee is unauthorized to work in the U.S. Am I out of the woods?

07/29/2011 : Am I required to provide my employees with paid sick leave?

06/24/2011 : What are the risks and benefits of performing social media background checks before hiring?

05/27/2011 : Can written employment agreements prevent employees from bringing class action lawsuits even if there is a state law barring such provisions?

04/29/2011 : Can an employer be held liable for a retaliation claim brought by a third party?

03/25/2011 : What is the status and availability of H-1B visas in 2011?

02/25/2011 : Is it permissible to screen out job applicants who are unemployed?

01/28/2011 : Does protection from retaliation extend to the employee's family members?

12/31/2010 : My employee has requested an accommodation. What should I do?

09/24/2010 : Are nursing mothers afforded any special rights in the workplace?

08/27/2010 : Is FMLA leave available to care for a child who is neither a biological or adopted child of the employee?

07/07/2010 : May I monitor my employees' use of e-mail, Internet and computer at work?

05/28/2010 : Are there government initiatives to target fraud and verify employer compliance with H-1B immigration programs?

04/30/2010 : Does the health care legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or "PPACA") signed by the President on March 23, 2010, impact the employee-employer relationship?

03/26/2010 : Can an employee's online activity subject a company to liability under the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules concerning endorsements in advertising?

02/26/2010 : In the wake of recent shootings on campuses and in other workplaces, what can I do to protect myself and my employees against the dangers of a potential disgruntled employee?

01/29/2010 : As an employer participating in a multiemployer pension plan, do I need to worry about "unfunded vested liability"?

11/27/2009 : What is new regarding employer provided benefits?

10/30/2009 : Will the identity theft provisions of the so-called "Red Flag Rules" apply to the workplace?

09/25/2009 : Does a company have any obligations to a temporary worker assigned by a staffing agency?

08/28/2009 : Should employers include employee tips when calculating the amount of unemployment insurance tax due to the State?

07/31/2009 : What is E-Verify and what do I need to do as an employer to be in compliance?

06/26/2009 : Should employers addressing harassment allegations be concerned about claims by the accused harasser as well?

05/29/2009 : My company will receive federal stimulus funds. Should I be concerned with any whistleblower protections?

04/24/2009 : I run a professional services referral agency. Do I have to make unemployment insurance contributions based on the people I refer to provide the services?

03/27/2009 : With all the layoffs in the news, could you remind me of the federal law requiring employer notice?

02/27/2009 : I was told retaliation lawsuits are increasing. How do we protect ourselves?

01/30/2009 : A manager mistakenly made a one-time improper deduction from the salaries of exempt employees. Does this affect the employees' exempt status?