Washington Supreme Court Holds that DSHS Violated the Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing in its Contracts with In-Home Care Providers

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Jordan L. Jones

in-home-health-careIn Rekhter v. Wash. Social & Health Servs. Dep’t, the Washington Supreme Court (WASC) upheld a jury finding that the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS or State) violated the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing in its contracts with in-home care providers (providers). The WASC also held that the trial judge correctly granted summary judgment to DSHS on the providers’ claims that the State (1) wrongfully withheld wages in violation of RCW 49.52.050 and .070 and (2) failed to pay the providers for all hours worked, in violation of the Washington Minimum Wage Act (MWA).

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The Washington Supreme Court Holds That A Trial Court Improperly Granted Summary Judgment and Dismissed Plaintiffs’ Wage Claims

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Jordan L. Jones

minimum-wage_300x300In Becerra Becerra v. Expert Janitorial, LLC, the Washington Supreme Court (WASC) held that a trial court improperly granted summary judgment to Fred Meyer on the issue of “joint employers” and remanded for further proceedings. The WASC stated that “[s]imply put, we find the trial court did not consider all the relevant factors at summary judgment or sufficiently identify why it deemed certain factors to be not relevant.”

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Court Denies Boeing’s Summary Judgment Motion Against Former Employee For FMLA, WFMLA, and WLAD Claims

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Jordan L. Jones 

fmla 2In Alexander v. Boeing Co., the U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington denied defendant Boeing’s motion for summary judgment. The court found that there were genuine disputes of material fact regarding the plaintiff’s claims that Boeing violated the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Washington Family Medical Leave Act (WFMLA), and the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) when they terminated her employment.

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PERC Reverses Examiner on Triggering Event for Skimming Allegation

By Therese Norton

dominoeA ‘triggering event’ signals important deadlines for filing unfair labor practice complaints or else a party may risk losing the opportunity to file a complaint with the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC). In Lake Washington School District, the Commission found that the Examiner Page A. Garcia erred in dismissing the IBEW Local 46’s skimming complaint as untimely and beyond the statute of limitations. The Commission explained that, in a skimming case, the triggering event for the statute of limitations is when bargaining unit work is assigned to non-bargaining unit employees, and not when the union receives notice of the employer’s intent to transfer the work, as the Examiner had concluded.

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PERC finds Deputy Sheriff’s Association Bargained Regressively on Eve of Interest Arbitration

By Therese Norton

MaliceBoth employer and union can violate their good faith bargaining obligations under the state collective bargaining laws when one party advances proposals prior to interest arbitration that are regressive from proposals made earlier in negotiations. In Spokane County (Spokane County Deputy Sheriff’s Association), PERC Examiner Stephen W. Irvin found, and the Commission affirmed, that the Spokane County Deputy Sheriff’s Association breached its good faith bargaining obligations by submitting a regressive wage proposal after impasse and shortly before the parties’ scheduled interest arbitration hearing.

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Court Issues a Mixed Ruling on Kitsap County Deputy Fire Marshal’s USERRA Claims

By Jordan L. Jones

sad happyIn Hanson v. Cnty. of Kitsap, the court held that a Kitsap County Deputy Fire Marshal’s claims under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) relating to (1) reemployment, (2) benefits, (3) hostile work environment, and (4) constructive discharge should be dismissed under summary judgment. The court also held that the “[p]laintiff’s motion for summary judgment on his USERRA claim under § 4318 (pension) should be granted . . . . [T]he § 4311 USERRA claim and WLAD [i.e., Washington Law Against Discrimination] claim (to the extent they are based on the failure to promote him and his removal from the fire investigation rotation) and his USERRA claim under § 4316 (without cause discharge), is very thin, but is sufficient to allow to proceed on those claims.”

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State Supreme Court Holds Oral Argument on Kitsap Retroactive Insurance Case

By Jim Cline

healthcare costsAs we indicated in an earlier blog, the State Supreme Court has accepted review of the Kitsap County retroactive insurance case.  The issues in the case involve whether an employer can retroactively increase health insurance premiums and whether they may also deduct the amount needed to cover the increased premiums from the employee’s paychecks without employee consent.  Our previous blog provides a detailed review of the legal issues before the Court.

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New York Federal Court Holds That Corrections Officer Waived Any Right To A Pre-Termination Hearing By Signing A Last Chance Agreement

By Jordan Jones

last_chance

In Stresing v. Agostinoni, a Federal court held that a New York corrections officer (officer) waived any right to a pre-termination hearing when he signed a last chance agreement with his employer.

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Washington Court of Appeals finds Trial Court erred in Slapping down Lawsuit under Anti-SLAPP Statute

By Kasey Burton

slapp

In Spratt v. Toft, the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division I, held that the King County Superior Court erred in failing to consider whether or not a plaintiff is likely to prevail on his or her defamation claim before dismissing the suit under the Washington Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute.

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Washington Appeals Court Holds That Kitsap Lieutenant’s Union Was Not Entitled To Attorney Fees Under RCW 49.48.030 For ULP Hearing

By Jordan L. Jones

stock-photo-5918704-flying-moneyIn Int’l Union of Police Ass’n, Local 748 v. Kitsap County, the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One held that a trial court erred when it awarded attorney fees incurred in an Unfair Labor Practice ULP (ULP) proceeding to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant’s Association under the state wage law.

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