WELA Alert

Family Care Act Allows Employee to Use Disability Plan to Care for Family Member Where Employer Does Not Provide Sick Leave

WELA ALERT: WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS Family Care Act Allows Employee to Use Disability Plan to Care for Family Member Where Employer Does Not Provide Sick Leave The employer in this case did not provide paid sick leave. When employees are ill they may receive paid leave through a short-term disability (“STD”) plan. Employees also receive two paid personal days and...

District Court Improperly Granted Employer Summary Judgment on Retaliation, Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment Claims

WELA ALERT: NINTH CIRCUIT District Court Improperly Granted Employer Summary Judgment on Retaliation, Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment Claims Plaintiff was born in Mexico and moved to the United States several decades ago at age 15.  He became a United States citizen in 1981.  From 2004 to 2010, Efrain worked as a millwright at Roseburg, where he performed his job well...

De Facto Corporate Officers Are Liable For Willful Withholding of Wages Earned Before a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Regardless of Pay-Day

WELA ALERT: WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT De Facto Corporate Officers Are Liable For Willful Withholding of Wages Earned Before a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Regardless of Pay-Day Plaintiff was the CFO of a financially troubled company. After failing to obtain additional financing, the Board of Directors began to make preparations for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The Board ordered the CFO to terminate...

Railway Labor Act Pre-Empts Fine State Agency Issued to Airline Based on Flight Attendant’s Claimed Violation of Washington Family Care Act

WELA ALERT: NINTH CIRCUIT Railway Labor Act Pre-Empts Fine State Agency Issued to Airline Based on Flight Attendant’s Claimed Violation of Washington Family Care Act An Alaska Airlines flight attendant called in sick in May to care for her son, who was ill. She had used up all her sick leave. She had vacation time available, but did not have an...

Automobile Service Advisors Do Not Fall Within an FLSA Exemption

WELA ALERT: WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS Automobile Service Advisors Do Not Fall Within an FLSA Exemption Plaintiffs are services advisors at Mercedes-Benz dealers. They filed a class-action for unpaid overtime. The district court held they fell within the FLSA exemption applicable to “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles.” The Ninth Circuit reversed based on deference...

Proof of Replacement Outside Protected Class Not Required-But Relevant

WELA ALERT: WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS While Proof of Replacement by Someone Outside Protected Class is Not Required Element of Prima Facie Case under RCW 49.60, it is a Relevant Fact on Summary Judgment Plaintiff was a part-time manager of accounting for the PUD for 27 years. Upon the termination of the General Manager, she was promoted to Interim General Manager,...

Federal Labor Law Does Not Pre-Empt State Law – Jury’s Interpretation of the CBA Not Required

WELA ALERT: NINTH CIRCUIT  Federal Labor Law Does Not Pre-Empt State Law Gender Based Hostile Work Environment Claim Because It Did Not Require Jury’s Interpretation of the CBA Plaintiff worked for UPS at Boeing Field in Seattle. She was represented by a union. She frequently complained of discrimination and demeaning treatment based on gender. She filed numerous grievances. In 2009 she...

Court Does Not Abuse Its Discretion by Declining to Give Pretext Instruction

WELA ALERT: WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS Twenty-four Muslim plaintiffs brought an action for religious and national discrimination. They claimed that only Muslim employees were disciplined for violating a workplace rule. Plaintiffs requested a jury instruction that the jury could find discrimination if it concluded that the employer’s reasons for discrimination were pretextual. The Superior Court refused. The jury returned a...

Public Employee Has No Right to Send Religious Email Messages in Violation of Department Policy

WELA ALERT: WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS Employee was a fire department captain. He began distributing newsletters through the fire department email system for his Christian Firefighters Fellowship. His messages often included scriptural passages. He was told that the email system was for business purposes only but he ignored the directive. Eventually he was fired for insubordination. He appealed to the civil...

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