Employment Law Notes

Labor and employment law developments are increasingly complex and challenging for human resource managers, executives and attorneys in public employment and in the private sector. Each year the areas of risk management and claim exposure become more expensive and preventive program concerns become more demanding. To assist in employer preventive practices, SmartTalent is pleased to provide brief summaries regarding key developments in the area of Labor Law, written by the employment law attorneys at Sebris Busto James.

If you have Labor Law questions and would like assistance, please click on the Sebris Busto James link and you will be directed to their website or e-mail Jeffrey A. James at jaj@sebrisbusto.com. (www.sebrisbusto.com).

If you are not currently receiving our monthly Employment Law Note email, just let us know at smarttalent@smarttalentstaffing.com. Meanwhile, listed below are past issues for your enjoyment.


January 2024 – New Year, New Rules
February 2024 – U.S. Department of Labor Narrows the Scope of Independent Contractor Classification
March 2024 – Washington State Legislature Fails to Approve Unemployment Benefits for Striking Workers
April 2024 – Updates to Washington’s Non-Compete Law Place Further Restrictions on Employers
May 2024 – New FTC Rule Bans Noncompetition Covenants for Almost All Workers


January 2023 – Ninth Circuit Revives Teacher’s First Amendment Lawsuit and Rules MAGA Hat Was Protected Speech
February 2023 – Washington Employers Face Increased Pay Transparency Requirements
March 2023 – NLRB Rules that Employers May Not Silence Employees with Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provisions
April 2023 – Reducing Harmful Bias in Hiring Algorithms
May 2023 – Seattle Leads in Protecting Gig Workers
June 2023 – Washington Restricts Pre-Employment Cannabis Testing
July 2023 – U.S. Supreme Court Makes It Easier for Employees to Seek Religious Accommodations
August 2023 – EEOC’s Updated Guidance on Disabilities Provides New Information and Reminders for Employers
September 2023 – NLRB Ruling Facilitates Union Recognition
October 2023 – Washington Supreme Court Rejects the Apex Doctrine
November 2023 – NLRB Issues New Rule on Determining Joint-Employer Status
December 2023 – New DOL Rule Has Major Implications for Federal Contractors


January 2022 – Washington Cares Act on Hold
February 2022 – Seattle-Area Employers Get Ready – New Requirements Coming When Using Independent Contractors
April 2022 – Silenced No More
May 2022 – EEOC Guidance Addresses Discrimination Against Caregivers
June 2022 – Free Speech in the Workplace
July 2022 – Here Comes Summer – Washington Heat and Wildfire Rules Go Back into Effect
August 2022 – “Victory” Against Excessive Emotional Distress Damages?
September 2022 – The Monkeypox Virus: What Employers Need to Know About the New Public Health Emergency
October 2022 – Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Could Lead to Disability Benefits
November 2022 – Fall Updates
December 2022 – New Year’s Resolutions for Best Employment Practices


January 2021 – EEOC: Employers May Require Employees to Receive Covid-19 Vaccine
February 2021 – All In the FAMILY: Congress Reconsiders the FAMILY Act
March 2021 – Washington State Supreme Court Takes on the Constitution – Again
April 2021 – COBRA Subsidy Notice in American Rescue Plan Act
May 2021 – Are You and Your Employees Ready for the Long-Term Care Mandate?
June 2021 – New Administration, New Rules
July 2021 – Best Practices for a Post-Pandemic Workplace
August 2021 – DOL Rescinds Trump Administration’s Joint Employer Rule
September 2021 – Ninth Circuit Says “Paramour Preference” is Not Sex Discrimination
October 2021 – Washington State Puts Time Traveling Out of Town on the Payroll
November 2021 – OSHA’s New Rule on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Under Fire
December 2021 – Supervisor’s Knowledge of Safety Violation(s) May Be Imputed to the Employer


January 2020 – Overtime Rules
February 2020 – New Legislation
March 2020 – NLRB Developments
March 2020 – Supplemental COVID-19 Legislation
March 2020 – Supplemental – Stay At Home Order
March 2020 – Supplemental – Dealing with Unions During a Pandemic
March 2020 – Supplemental – CARES Act Loans – Read The Fine Print
April 2020 – Employment Documentation-FFCRA Tax Credits
May 2020 – NLRB Regulations Update
June 2020 – Return to the Workplace
July 2020 – Supreme Court Decision Title VII
August 2020 – Wage Hour Class Action Settlement
September 2020 – FLSA DOL Pandemic Reminder
October 2020 – Politics in the Workplace
November 2020 – Covid-19 Related Leaves and Other Accommodations
December 2020 – Company-Sponsored Holiday Celebrations During a Pandemic


January 2019 – Partial Government Shutdown
February 2019 – Independent Contractor Agreements
March 2019 – Workplace Gossip
April 2019 – To Leave or Not to Leave
May 2019 – New Noncompetition Law
June 2019 – Rats, and Cats, and Banners (Oh My!)
July 2019 – Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act
August 2019 – Obesity is a Disability in WA State
September 2019 – Mistaken Identity or Just a Mistake
October 2019 – A Tale of Trucks and Apples
November 2019 – Supreme Court is Back in Session
December 2019 – Paid Family and Medical Leave


January 2018 – NLRB Rulings Overturned
February 2018 – Is Your Business Prepared for the #MeToo Movement?
March 2018 – Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t
April 2018 – FLSA Amendment on Tips
May 2018 – Coming Soon: New Washington Workplace Laws
June 2018 – Supreme Court and Arbitration Agreements
July 2018 – Supreme Court Update Kennedy Retirement
August 2018 – NLRB to Revisit Employee Use of Company Email
September 2018 – The Meal Period Morass
October 2018 – NLRB Signals Relaxation of Joint Employer Definition
November 2018 – “(Wo)Man Bites Dog” in Alter Ego Case
December 2018 – The Corporate Survival Guide to Holiday Parties


January 2017 – The EEOC Issues Publications on Mental Health Conditions
February 2017 – Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave
March 2017 – Treat Your Elders Well – They Can Do The Job, And They Can Sue You For Age Discrimination
April 2017 – The Defend Trade Secrets Act (and Other Ways to Protect your Company’s Confidential Information)
May 2017 – The Equal Pay Pendulum
June 2017 – Employer Immigration Law Compliance and the New Administration
July 2017 – Employers Beware of Missed Meal Periods
August 2017 – Washington New Family Leave Law
September 2017 – Washington State Safe and Sick Leave
October 2017 – Seattle Issues Final Rules for City’s Minimum Wage Ordinance
November 2017 – The Corporate Survival Guide to Holiday Parties


January 2016 – Employers Wellness Programs Find Protection from the EEOC
February 2016 – Joint Employment Can Have Expensive Consequences
March 2016 – EEOC’s New Discrimination Charge Procedures Favor Employees and Create Pitfalls For Employers
April 2016 – DOLs New Persuader Rule Has Major Consequences
May 2016 – Defend Trade Secrets Act to Provide Employers with Uniform Protection and Access to Federal Courts
June 2016 – White Collar Workers Get a Raise
July 2016 – EEOC Poised to Focus on Enforcement Efforts
August 2016 – OSHA Takes Aim at Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing
September 2016 – Class Action Waivers Take a Hit
October 2016 – New EEO-1 Reporting Requirement on Gender Pay
December 2016 – The Corporate Survival Guide to Holiday Parties


January 2015 – Stay Tuned as Cases Currently Before the US Supreme Court May Have an Impact on Employers
February 2015 – EEOC Steps Up Scrutiny of Workplace Wellness Programs
March 2015 – Fired for Misconduct – Is the Employee Entitled to Unemployment Benefits?
April 2015 – Pregnancy Discrimination Act Requires Employers to Accommodate Pregnant Workers in Most Cases
May 2015 – Employers Need to Review Their Handbooks and Policies
June 2015 – Actual Knowledge of Need for Religious Accommodation Not Required for Employer Liability
July 2015 – Get Ready To Reclassify – The Department of Labor’s Proposed Changes to FLSA’s Overtime Exemptions
August 2015 – Employers May Discipline for Threats of Violence Caused by a Disability
September 2015 – Employers Beware – Obama’s Lame Duck Presidency and You
October 2015 – NLRBs New Joint-Employer Standard Will Have Major Consequences
November 2015 – Bad News Comes in Threes


January 2014 – ICE: Is Your Business Prepared for a Silent Raid?
February 2014 – To Screen or Not to Screen – Navigating the Muddy Waters
March 2014 – WA Supreme Courts Limits Non-Profit Religious Organization Exemption
April 2014 – Controversial NLRB Representation Rules Reemerging
May 2014 – Employers Should Be on Alert for 2014 Regulatory and Enforcement Initiatives
June 2014 – Employers Must Accommodate Religious Beliefs
July 2014 – Arbitration Agreements Can Protect Employers
August 2014 – Washington Supreme Court’s Storti Decision
September 2014 – Employment Law Update – Summer 2014
October 2014 – The FMLA Helps Those Who Help Themselves
November 2014 – Leave to Accommodate a Disability May Stretch Endlessly
December Year-End 2014 – Happy Holidays from the NLRB


January 2013 – Labor & Employment Law Scrutiny & Enforcement Will Grow
February 2013 – Obama’s National Labor Relations Board Recess Appointments
March 2013 – New FMLA Rule in Effect on March 8
April 2013 – Retaliation Claims – Recent Cases Are a Reminder
May 2013 – Social Media Law Update
June 2013 – The EEOC Provides ADA Guidance on Specific Conditions
EMPLOYER ALERT – Seattle Criminal Background Ordinance
Read about the Seattle City Council’s recent approval of an ordinance restricting employers’ ability to access public records and conduct criminal background checks on potential employees.
July 2013 – After DOMA – Next Step for Employers
August 2013 – Supreme Court Delivers Two Late Term Victories to Employers
September 2013 – The EEOC Ramps Up Enforcement of GINA
October 2013 – The Horror! A Spooktacular Employment Law Update
November 2013 – Union Organizing Campaigns for a New Age


January 2012 – EEOC Discrimination Charges and Monetary Relief Obtained Hit Records Highs
February 2012 – Micro Units-Recent NLRB Opinions Prove They Aren’t Just for Health Care Anymore
March 2011 – Title VII Anti-Retaliation Protection Extended to Third Parties
April 2012 – To Return an Employee to Work Or Not
May 2012 – Social Media Policies
June 2012 – EEOC Issues Guidance Addressing Employer Use of Criminal Background Checks
July 2012 – U.S. Department of Labor Issues FMLA Guide for Employers
August 2012 – Courts Clarify Methods for Determining Exempt Status & Calculating Overtime
September 2012 – NLRB Rules Blanket Requests for Confidentiality in Workplace Investigations Unlawful
October 2012 – Single Comment Together with Background Evidence May Establish Hostile Work Environment
November 2012 – Employees May be Entitled to Overtime Compensation For Missed Rest Periods


January 2011 – GINA Comes of Age – New Regulations Clarify
February 2011 – US Department of Labor Emphasizes Enforcement of FLSA Classifications
March 2011 – Title VII Anti-Retaliation Protection Extended to Third Parties
April 2011 – Reasonable Accommodation – How Far Must a Washington Employer Go
May 2011 – NLRB Issues Complaint Against Boeing For South Carolina Expansion
June 2011 – Put on ICE – Protecting Your Organization from Increased Immigration and Customs Enforcement
July 2011 – Reefer Madness & What Employers Need to Know
August 2011 – Not All Employee Posts Online Are Protected Under the National Labor Relations Act
September 2011 – National Labor Relations Board Issues Final Rule to Post Notices of Employee Rights
October 2011 – National Labor Relations Board Updates
November 2011 – Risk Management in the New Year