Emma Kazaryan

Be Prepared for Reopening Your Business with COVID-19 Policies in your Employment Handbook

Coronavirus / COVID-19, Employment

Recent changes in law and best practice guidance from the CDC and local authorities require employers to adopt written COVID-19 related policies before returning employees back to the office. For a fixed fee, we are offering the following: COVID-19 Package: COVID-19 plans and policies including: a general checklist for employers an infected employee response plan a […]


Emma Kazaryan

Wage Theft, Minimum Wage Violations: Most Costly Areas for Employers Investigated by the Seattle Office of Labor Standards

Employment

According to data reports published by the Seattle Office of Labor Standards – which enforces the City’s labor standards for minimum wage, Paid Sick and Safe Time, Fair Chance Employment, and other related laws – the costliest areas of enforcement for employers are violations of minimum wage and wage theft ordinances. In the first six […]


Emma Kazaryan

Washington Outlaws Pay History Questions

Employment

On May 9, 2019 Governor Jay Inslee signed a new law into effect that forbids employers from seeking a job applicant’s salary history or requiring that an applicant’s prior wage or salary history meet certain criteria.  Under the new law, which shall be known as the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act, employers may confirm […]


Emma Kazaryan

New Restrictions on Non-Compete Agreements in Washington State

Employment

Update: On May 8, 2019, Governor Inslee signed the bill into law. Last week the Washington State Legislature passed a bill that substantially restricts the scope of enforceable non-compete agreements.  Under the new rules, non-compete agreements will be unenforceable unless: The employer either (i) discloses terms of the non-compete agreement when making an offer of employment, […]


Emma Kazaryan

Washington State Supreme Court Says Employers are Strictly Liable for Employee Harassment of Customers

Employment

The Washington State Supreme Court recently held that, “under the plain language of [Washington Law Against Discrimination], employers are directly liable for the sexual harassment of members of the public by their employees, just as they would be if their employees turned customers away because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation.”  Floeting v. Group […]


Emma Kazaryan

Former Gates Foundation Employee Awarded $4.9M for Breach of Contract, Promissory Estoppel Claims against Former Employer

Employment

What is a broken promise worth?  For one former Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (“Gates Foundation”) employee, it was worth $4.9 million.  In October, the Washington State Superior Court for King County held that a former technology executive at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was entitled to $4.9 million in lost compensation damages after […]


Emma Kazaryan

Proper Analysis of Wrongful Discharge Claims in Washington: Lessons from Martin v. Gonzaga

Employment

The Washington State Supreme Court recently clarified the law applicable to wrongful discharge claims in a case called Martin v. Gonzaga, — W.2d —, 425 P.2d 827 (2018). Washington employees are generally employed “at will” meaning, absent an agreement to the contrary, employees and employers can terminate employment at any time and for any reason […]


Emma Kazaryan

NLRB Vacates Hy-Brand Decision; Browning-Ferris Joint Employer Test Back in Effect

Employment

A little over two months ago, we reported that the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) overruled the Browning-Ferris joint employer test in a case called Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd. and Brandt Construction Co.  Under Browning-Ferris, companies faced greater responsibility for the employment practices of their contractors and franchisees.  In turn, Hy-Brand limited the circumstances in […]


Emma Kazaryan

New Washington State Supreme Court Case: Updated Standard for Discrimination Claims and A Warning That Policies Can Modify At-Will Employment

Employment

On October 19, 2017, the Washington State Supreme Court entered its opinion in the matter of Mikkelsen v. Public Utility District No. 1 of Kittias County, et al.  In Mikkelsen, the female plaintiff sued her former employer (a utility district) for wrongful discharge based on gender and age discrimination, and failure to follow the progressive […]