City of Seattle v. Arnold, Supreme Court No. 91742-6 (View WELA?s Brief)

This case concerns whether attorney?s fees incurred in a city civil service commission appeal resulting in a back pay award can be recovered under the wage recovery statute, RCW 49.48.030.? The Superior Court held that they cannot because the Seattle Municipal Code that created the commission allows an employee to be represented ?at his/her own expense,? so the commission ?had no authority to award attorney?s fees.? The Court of Appeals, Division 1, reversed, and the Supreme Court accepted review.? WELA argues that the case can be resolved solely on the basis of prior precedent, particularly International Ass?n of Fire Fighters, Local 46, v. City of Everett, 146 Wn. 2d 29 (2002), where the Court held that employees could recover fees in a different action than the action in which they recovered wages.? WELA also argues that if the Seattle ordinance forbids the commission to award fees to an employee who recovers a judgment for wages, it unconstitutionally conflicts with RCW 49.48.030.? Joe Shaeffer and Dan Johnson wrote the brief for WELA.