Seminar reveals new employment requirements from case law

Oct 9, 2019
Written by Rose Gundersen, VP of Operations & Retail Services

Navigating labor and employment laws is becoming an increasingly complex task for employers of all sizes. For this reason, Washington Retail co-sponsored a “Best Practices for Best Employers Labor and Employment Seminar” last week with the Lane Powell Seattle law firm.

The event drew more than 400 attendees including Renée Sunde, our President/CEO, and me.

Our readers have learned of the 11 state labor and employment laws passed in 2018-19 legislation in our e-newsletter on August 14. Several rulings by the Washington State Supreme Court have created case laws that deserve the business community’s attention:

  • Obesity is Washington’s newest disability as a result of the State Supreme Court’s holding under Taylor vs. Burlington N. R.R. Holdings, Inc. This will require a review of hiring and accommodation practices, employment policies, training materials and potentially more.
  • Employers incur strict liability applicable to places of public accommodation when their employees harass customers or members of the public under Floeting v. Group Health, Inc.
  • Piece-rate payment that relies on WAC 296-126-021 (workweek averaging) is permissible under Sampson v. Knight Transportation.

In addition, a multitude of employment leave laws from all levels of government are likely causing employers to feel confused and anxious about being out of compliance. Washington Retail is continuing to identify resources to share with our members. Meanwhile, if you have questions, contact me at 360-200-6452 or [email protected].