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Our labor and employment law attorneys provide both public and private sector clients with consultation and representation not only at the negotiating table and job-site, but also before all federal, state and local agencies and courts. Our attorneys produce monthly articles for the Puget Sound Business Journal covering developments in the labor and employment field.  

7/28/2017: May a for-profit company have unpaid volunteers, apprentices, trainees, or interns?

6/30/2017: May an employer require an employee to reimburse employer-paid costs for training the employee if the employee leaves soon after receiving training?

5/26/2017: Is there a new employment-related requirement to qualify as a responsible bidder on public works contracts?

4/28/2017: Are there limits to an employer's duty to make a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA")?

3/31/2017: How might the Trump administration affect current union election laws?

3/1/2017: What should I know about the proposed National Right-to-Work Act?

12/30/2016: What should I know about a new antitrust initiative directed at employers?

11/25/2016: If an employer requires employees to sign an arbitration agreement agreeing to arbitrate all employment disputes in individual, as opposed to joint, class, or collective, arbitration proceedings, are there issues with enforceability?

10/28/2016: Can I require my employees to be civil towards one another when discussing work on social media?

09/30/2016: Will the final rules regarding overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act have any impact on me as an employer?

08/26/2016: My employee filed an EEOC complaint. Can she file a lawsuit?

07/29/2016: I pay my employees on a piece rate basis; do I have to pay them separately for rest breaks?

06/24/2016: If a company is a franchisor with franchisees in Washington State, must the franchisor pay workers’ compensation premiums for the work of the franchisee?

05/27/2016: How do new EEOC rules regarding workplace wellness programs affect employers?

04/29/2016: Does the Department of Labor’s proposed change to overtime exempt status require employer action?

03/25/2016: Are employers of Seasonal workers impacted by the Affordable Care Act?

02/26/2016: How do new regulations regarding public accommodations and sexual identity impact Washington employers?

01/29/2016: What is the new risk management issue for employers who utilize workers other than their own employees in their business?

12/28/2015: Must I pay employees for pre and post work activities?

11/27/2015: What must my company do to ensure that it is in compliance with the recently implemented “safe and sick leave” rules in Seattle and Tacoma?

10/30/2015: Under what circumstances does our business need to pay workers’ compensation premiums for independent contractors?

9/25/2015: Are significant changes coming regarding overtime-exempt employees?

8/28/2015: I work for a home health care provider and am paid a set amount on a per-visit basis, regardless of the actual number of hours I take. My employer still treats me like a salaried exempt employee. Can they do this?

07/31/2015: An employee has complained that his medical condition prevents him from working but has not requested any accommodation. Do I need to make a reasonable accommodation?

06/26/2015: May I monitor my employees’ use of e-mail, Internet and other communication on company systems?

05/29/2015: Can I fire my employee after he posted comments critical about the company on Twitter?

04/24/2015: I am a small business owner and use independent contractors. Can I terminate or renew my relationship with these independent contractors freely without the risk of litigation?

03/27/2015: If I believe that my customers will not work with a disabled employee, does their employment create an undue hardship?

02/27/2015: Wellness programs are popular, but are there employment law issues you should consider in developing one?

01/30/2015: I classify my employees as independent contractors but was recently told that there are major consequences for misclassification. Is that true?

12/31/2014: Our employees and supervisors have a comfortable, relaxed relationship and routinely joke with each other. Some of the jokes could be considered inappropriate. Should I be concerned?

12/26/2014: Can I prohibit my employees from using company email for non-work purposes?

11/28/2014:  Can the Company insist that those interviewed in an internal investigation maintain the confidentiality of the investigation until it is concluded?

10/31/2014:  How important are workplace investigations?

09/26/2014: Our new employee has called in sick for an extended period of time in his first month on the job and reports that he is not sure when he will be able to return. Can I find a more reliable employee?

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?

09/27/2013: Should employers provide training for supervisors who conduct performance evaluations?

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?

02/24/2012: 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)?

01/27/2012: 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?

12/24/2010: What is new regarding an employer's collection of employee health information?

11/26/2010: With the new Republican majority in the House and the Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") on the back burner, will the National Labor Relations Board go into hibernation for the foreseeable future?

10/29/2010: What is the timeline for an employee bringing a claim under an arbitration provision in an employment contract?

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?