PERC Affirms Ruling Union Improperly Circumvented Employer’s Designated Collective Bargaining Rep

By Therese Norton

bargaining 2In Kiona Benton School District, the Public Employee Relations Commission affirmed Examiner Coss’s finding that the Kiona Benton Education Association, the Union that represents certain teachers in the School District, breached its good faith bargaining obligation under State collective bargaining laws by refusing to communicate with the District’s designated collective bargaining representatives.

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Court Holds That Teacher’s Termination File Can Be Disclosed Under The Public Records Act

By Jordan L. Jones

appleIn Martin v. Riverside Sch. Dist. No. 416, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division Three, held that: (1) a teacher’s records were not exempt from disclosure pursuant to the personal information and the investigative records exemptions of Washington’s Public Records Act (PRA), and (2) disclosure of the records did not violate the right to privacy.

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Religious Non-Profits Exempt from WLAD, Not a Violation of State Establishment Clause

By Kasey Burton
justice-scales-cross-cc2The Washington Supreme Court held that the religious non-profit organization exemption set forth in the Washington Law Against Discrimination’s (WLAD) definition of “employer” does not violate the state privileges and immunities clause, and does not implicate the State’s establishment clause.

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Police Officer with Disciplinary Record Able to Sue for Harassment based on National Origin

By Kasey Burton

discriminating outsiderIn Morshed v County of Lake, the Court held that years of slurs and constant denigration were enough to allow Police Officer Morshed to pursue a national origin harassment claim even though he lost no pay or benefits.

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Washington Appeals Court Finds County Employee Is Not Entitled To Compensation For Commuting To Job Site

By Jordan L. Jones

construction-signIn Jensen v. Lincoln County, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division Three (Appeals Court) held that a County Crusher Foreman (Grievant) was not entitled to compensation for the time he spent driving to job sites. The Appeals Court found that the time the Grievant spent commuting to work did not fall under the definition of “hours worked” as defined by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (DLI).

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PERC Examiner Rejects Double Jeopardy Investigation and Monetary Fine in Ethics Discipline Case

By Therese Norton

Street LightAn Employer may not unilaterally change disciplinary procedures without first notifying the Union and, if requested, bargain the change. In City of Seattle, Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) Examiner Jessica Bradley found that Seattle City Light Department refused to bargain with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 77, in violation State collective bargaining laws by unilaterally implementing a second disciplinary process in conflict with the disciplinary procedure contained in the party’s collective bargaining agreement.

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State Supreme Court to Directly Review Kitsap County Retroactive Insurance Issues

By Jim Cline

health servicesThe Washington State Supreme Court has indicated that it will accept “Direct Review” of Kitsap County’s appeal of the Superior Court ruling from last summer that set aside Arbitrator Howell Lankford’s retroactive imposition of health insurance premium increases in his interest arbitration decision. Direct Review bypasses the Court of Appeals and is generally limited to those cases that the Court deems to be of significant statewide impact or importance.

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State Employment Security Department Can’t Unilaterally Prohibit Union Posters in Employee Cubicles

By Therese Norton

 

cubeDuring contract negotiations, the Washington State Employment Security Department ordered all employees to remove pro-union flyers from their cubicles. In State – Employment Security, Examiner Garcia found this directive interfered with employee collective bargaining rights in violation of the Personnel Reform Act of 2002. State – Employment Security, Decision 11962 (PSRA, 2013)

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BREAKING NEWS: Cline and Associates to Become Cline & Casillas!

Jim Cline and Chris Casillas opened the Firm’s Annual Client Training Seminar to announce that they are launching a new partnership. [Read more...]

Trial Court Ordered To Reconsider Whether County Facing Budget Shortfall Must Bargain Layoffs

By Chris Casillas

gavelA Washington Court of Appeals recently sent a case involving Kitsap County’s decision to layoff two corrections officers back to the Trial Court for further consideration.  In Kitsap County v. Kitsap County Correctional Officers’ Guild, Inc., the Appeals Court determined that the Trial Court erred when it failed to conduct the required Balancing Analysis to determine whether the County’s decision to layoff two corrections officers, based on an alleged jail budget shortfall, was a mandatory or permissive subject of bargaining. [Read more...]