Latest in Employment Law

Autumn St. George v. Sequim School District

Court: USDC Western District of Washington at Tacoma Judge: Hon. Robert J. Bryan; Margo T. Keller - failed first mediation; Hon. Paris Kallas (Ret.) - successful second mediation, settled at the 11th hour. Date Filed: 05/09/2018 Date of Settlement: 02/22/2019 Total Amount of Judgment or Settlement: $850,000 Basic Facts and Claims: Plaintiff Autumn St. George was a middle school P.E. teacher in the Sequim...

Troy Coachman v Seattle Auto Management Inc (d/b/a Mercedes Benz of Seattle)

Court: US District Court Western District of Washington Judge: Hon. Ricardo Martinez Date Filed: 02/08/2017 Date of Settlement or Verdict: 10/11/2018 Total Amount of Judgment or Settlement: $5,862,700 Basic Facts and Claims: Mr. Coachman was a 14-year employee with Mercedes Benz. He directed the finance department. He had a laryngectomy due to throat cancer, which involved the complete removal of his vocal cords. Following...

Johnson v. Albertsons, LLC -cv-001678-RAJ (WDW March 2020)

Court: United States District Court - Western District of Washington ? Seattle Judge: Judge Richard Jones Date Filed: 10/22/2018 Date of Settlement or Verdict: Jury Verdict 03/06/2020 Total Amount of Judgment or Settlement: $12,625,000 Basic Facts and Claims: Plaintiff was employed for 15 years as a District Manager with responsibility for 20 stores. She complained repeatedly to Human Resources and upper manages about gender...

Decision: Karstetter v. King County Corrections Guild

The Washington State Supreme Court issued a decision in Karstetter v. King County Correction Guild on Friday July 18, 2019 protecting the right of in-house counsel to bring breach of contract claims and wrongful discharge claims.? The decision also extends protected activity to those who assist in whistleblower investigations, and reinforces the limited application of the Peritt model. The King...

Decision: Taylor v. BNSF Railroad

The Washington Supreme Court held on July 11, 2019 in Taylor v. BNSF Railroad Holdings Inc., in answer to a certified question from the Ninth Circuit, that obesity always qualifies as an impairment under the Washington Law against Discrimination (?WLAD?).? Judge Robart had dismissed the case because Taylor could not prove either his obesity was caused by an independent...

WELA Alert: Federal Courts Lack Jurisdiction Over Pure Procedural Violations of Fair Credit Reporting Act

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires employers who conduct background checks to provide the applicant with a copy of his/her credit report before the employer takes any adverse action. Here the employer conducted a background check and obtained the applicant?s credit report. The employer disqualified the applicant for further consideration based on...

Collective Bargaining Agreement Did Not Cover Employee?s State Law Wage Claims so no Compelled Arbitration

WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS Plaintiff worked for QFC. He filed a class action claiming the employer?s policy of rounding employees? clock-in time to nearest quarter hour unlawfully deprived them of wages due under Washington law. QFC claimed that the claims were subject to arbitration under the relevant collective bargaining agreement (?CBA?), even though there was no mention of the rounding...

WELA Alert: Termination of Officer Based on Off-Duty Extramarital Affair with Another Officer Violated Employee?s Constitutional Right to Privacy

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit On January 4, 2012, Janelle Perez was hired by Chief Daniel Hahn to serve as a police officer in the Roseville Police Department. A few months into her probationary term, Perez and a fellow officer, Officer Shad Begley ("Begley") began a romantic relationship. Both Perez and Begley were separated from, although still...

Verdict: Zachrisson & Lincoln v. Port of Seattle – $16,097,342

Court: King County Superior Court Judge: Catherine Shaffer Date of Settlement or Verdict:? November 30, 2017 Total Amount of Judgment or Settlement: $16,097,342 jury verdict. High/Low Settlement: $8,000,000. Jury verdicts:?Zachrisson - Economic Damages: $153,543. Non-Economic Damages: $7,046,700; Lincoln - Economic Damages: $251,030. Non-Economic Damages: $8,646,069. Basic Facts and Claims: Whistleblower retaliation claim brought by two Seatac Airport employees who refused to extend restaurant leases violating...

Public Employer Policy of Prohibiting Religious Speech on Workplace Listserve and Electronic Bulletin Board Violates the First Amendment

WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT The plaintiff was a captain in a municipal fire department. He and several other employees formed a Christian Fellowship. He created a listserve of about 45 firefighters whom he thought would be interested in the Fellowship?s activities. The plaintiff distributed the emails over the employer?s email system. While the employer had a written policy limiting the email system...

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