Onik'a Gilliam

Launch of New Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

Employment

On January 1, 2019, the new Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) will go into effect, beginning with premium collection and requirements for reporting to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  Employees will not be eligible to start using benefits until January 1, 2020. PFML is a vanguard benefits program and is likely to […]


Onik'a Gilliam

What You Should Know About the Proposed Title IX Regulations

Education

By and large, independent schools are not subject to Title IX and its guidance regarding sexual misconduct complaints.  However, often our parents have Title IX-like expectations.  Under the Obama administration, more aggressive enforcement was the norm and the parent expectation.  Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded those guidelines in 2017.  On Friday, November 16, 2018, the […]


Onik'a Gilliam

New Washington Law Limits Discovery of Health Care Information

Employment

Effective today, June 7, is a new law passed by the Washington Legislature that limits discovery of health care information in claims for non-economic damages brought under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), RCW 49.60.  Under the new section, health care information will not be relevant to a claim unless the claimant puts their health […]


Onik'a Gilliam

Court Rules Prior Salary Is Not a Defense Against Equal Pay

Employment

Following the untimely demise only weeks ago of the judge many considered the “liberal lion” of the court, on April 9, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit filed (what is likely) the last opinion authored by Judge Stephen Reinhardt.  The matter of Rizo v. Yovino concerns Aileen Rizo, a female employee […]


Onik'a Gilliam

Sexual Orientation Discrimination is a Form of Sex Discrimination

Employment

On February 26, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a 10-3 decision concluded that the prohibition against sex discrimination established in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, includes sexual orientation.  The case, Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., No. 15-3775, concerns a skydive instructor who alleged he was terminated after […]


Onik'a Gilliam

Refusal to Hire an Applicant Due to Prior Opposition to Discriminatory Practices of a Prior Employer Can Expose Employer to Liability Under WLAD

Employment

On November 9, the Washington State Supreme Court (WSSC) en banc filed its opinion on the certified question of whether “RCW 49.60.210(1) create[s] a cause of action for job applicants who claim a prospective employer refused to hire them in retaliation in opposition to discrimination against a different employer.”  In short, the WSSC concluded yes, […]


Onik'a Gilliam

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 […]


Onik'a Gilliam

Gender Identity No Longer Protected Under Title VII

Employment

Following close on the heels of other Obama administration-era rollbacks (see Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s recent announcement rescinding prior guidance as to the standard of proof to be applied under Title IX), Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced yesterday that it is the Department of Justice’s position under President Donald Trump that it will no longer interpret […]