Latest in Employment Law

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...

WELA Amicus: Bailey v. Alpha Technologies, Inc.

WELA filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in this case on Friday April 27, urging the court to reverse and/or certify two legal issues to the Washington Supreme Court.  The plaintiff, a buyer for a group of privately-held companies, was fired after raising concerns about internal pricing that she had been told could raise...

University President Entitled to Qualified Immunity on Former Employee’s Claim for Deprivation of Liberty Interest without Due Process

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Plaintiff worked as the executive director for a public radio station and related foundation, both affiliated with a state university. He reported to the university president. The university president became concerned with how the foundation was spending its money. An audit determined that there was an inherent conflict of interest in having...

US Sct. Will decide if the ADEA Employee Minimum applies to Public Employers

Does the ADEA 20 Employee Minimum Apply to Public Employers? Court Will Tell Us The Court granted review of whether, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the same 20-employee minimum that applies to private employers also applies to political subdivisions of a state, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th Circuits have held,...

US Sct. will decide two issues re: FAA Exemption for Transportation Workers

Justices Will Decide Two Issues Regarding FAA Exemption for Transportation Workers In an FLSA collective action, the Court granted certiorari to decide (1) whether a dispute over applicability of the Federal Arbitration Act's exemption for transportation workers is an arbitrability issue that must be resolved in arbitration pursuant to a valid delegation clause rather than by the court; and (2)...

DOL Investigation Results in WA Orchard Paying $19,297 in Fines for Illegal Housing for Migrant Workers

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in a Washington Orchard Paying $19,297 in Fines for Providing Illegal Housing for Migrant Workers SEATTLE, WA – After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation, Rivera Orchards Inc. has paid $19,297 in penalties to resolve Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) violations that posed a direct and imminent...

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