Blog


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  Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded those guidelines in 2017.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 […]


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 […]


King County Superior Court Upholds Seattle Ordinance’s Cap on Move-in Fees and Security Deposits for Tenants

Real Estate

The King County Superior Court recently upheld a Seattle Ordinance that limits the amount tenants are required to pay for move-in fees and security deposits. Seattle Ordinance No. 125222 (the “Ordinance”), which was adopted by the Seattle City Council on December 12, 2016, limits the amount that landlords can charge tenants in up-front charges, including […]


Tyler Jones

199A Treasury Regulations

Taxation

IRS Issues Regulations on 20% Pass-Through Deduction On August 9, 2018, the IRS issued proposed Treasury Regulations to provide administrative guidance on one of the more drastic changes to the Internal Revenue Code contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed at the end of last year. Specifically, the newly proposed Treasury […]


New Labor Standards for Domestic Workers

Employment

On July 23, 2018, the Seattle City Council voted to approve the Domestic Workers Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), a new labor standards legislation for domestic workers. The Ordinance will guarantee Seattle’s minimum wages, rest breaks and other rights for domestic workers. It will restrict a hiring entity from keeping any domestic worker’s original documents or other […]


Laura Hoexter

Newman’s Own Scores a Win

Taxation

Newman’s Own Foundation, which has donated over $500 million to charities over 35 years, has been fighting to change the law that requires private foundations to divest themselves of certain investments. Private foundations are prohibited from owning “excess business holdings” (IRC Section 4943). An “excess business holding” is an ownership interest of more than 20% […]