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Washington Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Am I considered an "On-Call" or "Part-Time" employee if I am scheduled 2 days a week but am "On-Call" 5 days a week?

Holiday pay Dispute

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Dec 6, 2022

More information is needed to answer this question. These terms are sometimes defined in your employee handbook or employment contract (if you have one), and the employer's definition of these terms generally govern whether and how you receive benefits.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Can you refuse an unpaid 30 minute break?

I work in a bistro restaurant

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Oct 5, 2022

Employers are permitted to require their employees to take 30+ minute unpaid breaks. However, if you are required to perform any work during this 30 minute break period, such that it isn't an "uninterrupted" break, you generally need to be paid for the break time.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: I am FMLA protected but my employer wants to cut my hours and pay when I'm out due to my disability. Is that legal?

I have filed FMLA paperwork with my employer (School District employee) asking to adjust my 8 hour day to 71/2 or 7 hour day and using my sick time to make up the difference. This is due to my eyesight and not being able to drive in the dark. HR has confirmed that I am eligible for protected leave.... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Oct 2, 2022

If you are asking your employer to reduce your workday from 8 hours to 7 1/2 hours, then it is quote reasonable to reduce your pay to the hours worked.

You may want to consider asking your employer simply start your work day earlier, so you can still work 8 hours and get home before dark.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Left Amazon before 2 years. They’re coming after me w a $30K relocation bill. Is there a way to negotiate it down/waive?

-upon employment was told to relocate fro Miami to Seattle

-sold home, took kids out of school, moved to Seattle

-boss made my life impossible. Possible b/c of my age (over 50). Got a negative annual performance review (first step before termination)

-ended up getting a... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Sep 14, 2022

First, you can always attempt to negotiate a solution. You may consider offering a refund representing 11/24 of the relocation assistance amount with a deduction for the perceived age discrimination.

Second, it is impossible to tell you what legal options you may have under the relocation...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Can I collect unemployment I'm on suspension w/o pay, my cash register came up 40.00 short

Is that considered misconduct? I live in WA state

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Aug 29, 2022

You should apply for unemployment. It is a form of insurance that you pay into.

Mere negligence or making a mistake will not disqualify you for unemployment. An employer would have to provide that you intentionally stole the money to be disqualified for a short cash drawer.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Hello. I am a WA state employee currently employed on a W2 full time role with one company, with which I am taking paid

family medical leave. I have another full time W2 job in addition to this role. Am I able to take PFML payments from the one job, while also going back to work full time on the second? Is there any way my first employer would know, or the PFML program would know about this other job?

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Aug 29, 2022

The real question is your pregnancy leave for employer number 1 consistent with you not taking pregnancy leave for employer number 2. Your doctor should be making that decision. If you were put on medical leave to protect your health and your child's health, you need to make sure that working... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Commission-only (no salary our hourly pay) physician-can I be required to work in person in clinic certain hours?

I am required to be present in clinic certain hours of the week so medical assistants can administer vaccines. Often I don't have patients of my own at those times and because I'm not seeing the patients getting vaccinated (I'm just sitting in my office-have to be present in case... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Aug 25, 2022

You are entitled to minimum wage for all hours worked. If your commission does not at least cover minimum wage for all hours worked, including the time you are required to be in the office, you are not being paid properly.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Can I take my boss to court?They continue to retaliate against me for medical issues even when they are excused by A DR

I’ve been with this company 2.5 years. I worked 5+ days a week with the “best” and busiest shift. Then, I got covid. My boss continued to harass me to leave my quarantine to buy an at home test even though I provided a positive covid test from the DR 1 day before. When I refused to leave my... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Aug 12, 2022

It is illegal to retaliate against you for taking a protected medical leave, such as taking away your shifts or giving you less desirable shifts. If you have paid sick leave or your employer has at least 5 employees, your short term medical leave is likely protected.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Can you challenge an employer who wont provide ADA accommodation due to "hardship to the company"?

My employer has denied an employee an ADA accommodation request because it would "cause a hardship" to the company. I know this not to be true, and it is because my employer does not like the individual making the request. Is there some kind of appeal process for a denied accommodation... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Jul 12, 2022

While the ADA does not require employers to grant accommodations of an employee's choosing, it does require employers to engage in an "interactive process" to identify accommodations that work for both parties. The co-worker should ask why the company believes their request would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Can I be fined or arrested by my employer for forgery of a medical document for medical leave?

They refused to do my foot surgery and I couldn't work and I needed to pay my bills and my father's hospital bills. They found out by the doctors office that they didn't sign the medical paperwork after they already approved my leave. An investigation is on and they're asking me... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Jun 17, 2022

First, you can be disciplined and/or fired for submitting forged paperwork.

Second, if you received benefits that you were not entitled to based on the forgery, your employer could report the crime to the police. It would be up to the prosecutors to decide whether to prosecute you, not your...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Sexual Harassment for Washington on
Q: I filed a sexual harassment complaint against my supervisor, and while the investigation is completed, it seems wrong.

I attempted to quietly change my schedule, as I wanted to phase myself out of my supervisors shifts due to sexually suggestive remarks. When I explained this to a store manager, he told me it was a mandatory SH complaint. As of this morning, HR concluded their investigation, and not only is he... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Jun 9, 2022

Sexual harassment claims are very fact specific. In order to be actionable, the supervisor's harassment must be either: (i) severe; or (ii) pervasive. In other words, a single incident of inappropriate touching may meet the severe threshold. While frequent "flirty" comments about... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Government Contracts for Washington on
Q: Is it legal to film public employees doing or not doing there jobs.

Is it legal to film government employees working or not working? For instance, a park employee sitting in the truck for hours, a utilities employee at Starbucks for hours.

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Jun 2, 2022

Yes, you can take video of public employees in public spaces as long as you are not trespassing to do so. Please note that you cannot record audio without all parties consent, unless they are in a situation where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: What are the requirements for a paycheck deduction when a private employer needs reimbursed for an employee's excess

wear and tear to a company vehicle.

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on May 24, 2022

Your employer needs a document signed by the employee authorizing any payroll deductions, except payroll deductions required by law.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Can I sue previous employer for discrimination and stress injury?

I developed heart palpitations, 450 a day skipped heartbeats a day. It was caused by excess stress do to negligence from my employer. Me and several other employees would inform Human resources of thr behavior of the Store Manager, that was against company policy. Human resources told me to keep... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on May 19, 2022

First, you may have a retaliation claim depending on the types of misconduct by the manager that you were reporting to HR.

Second, you may have a claim for disability discrimination based on your termination after disclosing your heart condition and ADHD. However, without more context it is...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Can my employer mandate that I miss a day of work to be fitted for an N95 respirator?

There is no opportunity to get fit tested and keep my shift, and if I don't get a fit test, I can no longer keep my job. Do they have an obligation to pay me for the time spent traveling to the site and getting the fit test?

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on May 11, 2022

Yes. However, since the N95 respirator fitting is required for your work, you are still entitled to compensation for your time. Note: you are normally not entitled to compensation for the travel time from your home to your first place of employment or from your last place of employment to your home.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Question about resignation from a job. 9. Termination 9.2 Termination without cause by either party

The clause follows 9.2 as

"Without cause, upon 120 days' prior written notice by either party."

Does this mean that to resign I must give 120 days notice? Since it says "by either party".

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Apr 28, 2022

If the employee fails to give 120 days notice as required in the employment contract, then there is a possibility that an employer might sue for the extra cost of finding a replacement for the period for which notice was not given. In my experience, employers very rarely sue to recover that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: cpr class scheduled during my normal sleep time against the law?

so i work nights and my employer has scheduled a cpr class during the time I'm supposed to be sleeping and I'm supposed to work a 12 hour shift that night can he fire me if i don't show up to the class, this is in Washington state if that helps

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Apr 19, 2022

Assuming you're over the age of 18, your employer can require you to attend both the class and your shift. There are no federal laws that mandate any break times or sleep times, but if this becomes a repeated issue, you should discuss your concerns with your supervisor and request that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Washington on
Q: How do I prove a common law name change to my employer?

I live in Washington State. I have gone by my middle name now for more than 30 years. My employer requires that my birth certificate name appear on my Outlook and the program our company uses to manage clients. With my close co-workers, this doesn't matter, but there are enough people I... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Apr 17, 2022

In Washington state, while a common law name change based on usage is recognized, changing the name on your birth certificate requires a court order. The process is relatively inexpensive costs a few hundred dollars. For more info, go to:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: My employer is based in Virginia but my client is in Washington state.

My employer is based in Virginia but my client is in Washington state. I have been residing in Washington for last 2.5 years for my assignment. Am I entitled to get Washington State paid sick leave from my VA employer?

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
answered on Apr 15, 2022

Yes. The law of the state where the employees resides controls.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for Washington on
Q: How can I stay in the US? I recently had my i485 denied but I don't know why yet.

I am married to a US citizen and have been for over 3yrs, I have been in the US since Aug 2018. I have been working and providing for my family since October 2020 which means my wife and stepdaughter now rely on my presence and income in our family. I haven't received my rejection notice yet... Read more »

Nadine C. Atkinson-Flowers
Nadine C. Atkinson-Flowers
answered on Feb 5, 2022

Hello,

You really need to see what the rejection notice says. You then need to gather all the evidence of your marriage and make an appointment to see a an immigration lawyer. There could be a very specific reason for the rejection that you say is coming or it could be something general....
Read more »

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