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.”

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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).

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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).

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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)

[Read more...]