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) proceeding to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant’s Association under the state wage law.

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Appeals Court Upholds Ruling That A Trucking Company Was Liable For The Retaliatory Discharge Of An Independent Contractor Under The WLAD

By Jordan L. Jones

DiscriminationIn Currier v. Northland Servs., Inc., the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One (court) upheld a trial court decision that Northland Services Inc. (NSI) was liable for the retaliatory discharge of an independent contractor under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD). The court found that “[b]ecuase the WLAD applies to this case and substantial evidence supports the trial court’s findings and conclusions that retaliation was a substantial factor in NSI’s termination of . . . [the contractor,] we affirm the trial court’s judgment.”

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ULP Alleges School District Provided Union with False Information

By Therese Norton

misleadingThe Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) vacated an order dismissing the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 609’s unfair labor practice complaint against the Seattle School District.  Seattle School District, Decision 11995-A (PECB, 2014). The union had alleged the School District had provided false and misleading information in response to its information request regarding placing an employee on administrative leave.  The District must now file its answer to the complaint, and the matter can proceed to a full evidentiary hearing.

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PERC Dismisses Objections to Decertification Election

By Therese  Norton

voting-symbolsA group of individuals petitioned the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to decertify the Public School Employees of Washington/Puyallup Association of Education Office Personnel as the exclusive bargaining representative of clerical employees at the Puyallup School District. Following a mail ballot election, the employees chose to remain represented by the union. The group subsequently alleged that the union engaged in objectionable conduct that affected the results of the election. In Puyallup School District, the Commission dismissed the election objections brought by the group.  Decision 12067 (PECB, 2014).

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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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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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