Blog


Onik'a Gilliam-Cathcart

Washington Close to Amending Child Pornography Laws to Address Teen Sexting

Education

Of particular relevance to our public and private educational institutional clients, Washington State is closer to amending its child-pornography laws to consider the impact that technology and child development have on teens and the prosecution of such cases. HB 1742 would decriminalize or lower the penalties for certain types of transmission of teen sexual imagery, […]


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 […]


Hearing Examiner Issues Decision in Favor of the City of Seattle Regarding Mandatory Housing Affordability

Land Use, Real Estate

On Monday, January 7, 2019, the Seattle City Council (“City Council”) began debating a proposed legislation that would allow for construction of larger buildings and the imposition of mandatory affordable housing requirements in twenty-seven (27) neighborhoods and commercial corridors throughout the City of Seattle (the “City”), including Wallingford, Fremont, Beacon Hill, Ravenna, and West Seattle […]


Lauren Parris Watts

Washington State Supreme Court Issues Decision Strengthening Employee Protections Against Retaliation

Employment

On November 29, 2018, in an 8-1 decision, the Washington State Supreme Court revived a four-year-old retaliation lawsuit brought by a former employee (Dawn Cornwell) against Microsoft. As background, Ms. Cornwell had previously settled a gender-discrimination dispute with Microsoft and as part of that settlement the parties agreed that Ms. Cornwell would no longer report […]


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 […]


Karen Kalzer

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 […]


Karen Kalzer

Washington Human Rights Commission Task Force Publishes Model Procedures and Best Practices

Employment

The Washington Human Rights Commission Task Force published its draft Model Procedures and Best Practices (“Model Procedures”) to address sexual harassment in the workplace today,  November 5.  These draft Model Policies and Procedures can be found at here. Comments on the proposed Model Procedures are being accepted until November 30, 2018 at shpolicycomments@hum.wa.gov.  The proposed […]