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Monday, April 23, 2018

FREE Legal Forms: AK, CA, HI, ID, OR, WA


   
by Gregory Williams, Esq. |  What are some free resources for reliable and trusted legal forms in Washington State, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho and Oregon? Here's my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding). 

WASHINGTON STATE
FREE Washington State Legal Forms is a website designed, developed, and maintained by Attorney Gregory Williams. It both provides free access to trusted legal forms and offers reliability reviews for each source website.

Free forms are categorized and include, but are not limited to, the following subjects:

ALASKA, CALIFORNIA, HAWAII, IDAHO, & OREGON

We've received an overwhelming response to our FREE Legal Forms websites, and we're in the process of enhancing the websites for these states by (1) adding security certificates, (2) making them mobile friendly, and (3) migrating them to a safer and more reliable hosting provider (to see these enhancements, visit our WA State website). In the meantime, these websites will be down. Please check back soon!



 
   


PLEASE NOTE

The information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

WLAD: Definition of Employment Agency

by Gregory Williams, Esq. | What is the definition of the term “employment agency” under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD)? Here's my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).

WASHINGTON LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

Under WLAD, it is an unfair practice, with very few exceptions, for an employer to refuse to hire any person, to discharge or bar any person from employment, or to discriminate against any person in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of age (40+); sex (including pregnancy); marital statussexual orientation (including gender identity); race; color; creednational originhonorably discharged veteran or military statusHIV/AIDS and hepatitis C status; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; and state employee or health care whistleblower status. It is also an unfair practice for an employer to retaliate against an employee because the employee complained about job discrimination or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

DEFINITION OF EMPLOYMENT AGENCY

Chapter 49.60.040(12) RCW is the relevant law, and it defines the term “employment agency” as follows:
"Employment agency" includes any person undertaking with or without compensation to recruit, procure, refer, or place employees for an employer.
RCW 49.60.040(12) (emphasis added) (hyperlinks added).


LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Washington State Human Rights Commission Complaints

by Gregory Williams, Esq. | Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), who may file a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC)? Here’s my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).

WASHINGTON LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

Under WLAD, it is an unfair practice, with very few exceptions, for an employer to refuse to hire any person, to discharge or bar any person from employment, or to discriminate against any person in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of age (40+); sex (including pregnancy); marital statussexual orientation (including gender identity); race; color; creednational originhonorably discharged veteran or military statusHIV/AIDS and hepatitis C status; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; and state employee or health care whistleblower status. It is also an unfair practice for an employer to retaliate against an employee because the employee complained about job discrimination or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

WASHINGTON STATE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

The WSHRC was established by the Washington State Legislature in 1949, and it "is a state agency responsible for administering and enforcing the Washington Law Against Discrimination." WSHRC Official Website, last accessed 4/18/18. One of its powers, inter alia, is the ability "to receive, impartially investigate, and pass upon complaints alleging unfair practices as defined in ... [the WLAD]." RCW 49.60.120(4).

"If the facts as stated in the complaint do not constitute an unfair practice under ... [WLAD], a finding of no reasonable cause may be made without further investigation." RCW 49.60.240(1)(a). However, "[i]f the facts as stated could constitute an unfair practice under ... [WLAD], a full investigation and ascertainment of the facts shall be conducted." Id. And "[i]f the finding is made that there is reasonable cause for believing that an unfair practice has been or is being committed, the commission's staff shall immediately endeavor to eliminate the unfair practice by conference, conciliation, and persuasion." RCW 49.60.240(3).

WHO MAY FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE WSHRC

According to the WLAD, the following may file a complaint with the WSHRC:
(1) Who may file a complaint:
(a) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged unfair practice may, personally or by his or her attorney, make, sign, and file with the commission a complaint in writing under oath or by declaration. The complaint shall state the name of the person alleged to have committed the unfair practice and the particulars thereof, and contain such other information as may be required by the commission.
(b) Whenever it has reason to believe that any person has been engaged or is engaging in an unfair practice, the commission may issue a complaint.
(c) Any employer or principal whose employees, or agents, or any of them, refuse or threaten to refuse to comply with the provisions of this chapter may file with the commission a written complaint under oath or by declaration asking for assistance by conciliation or other remedial action.
RCW 49.60.230 (emphasis and hyperlinks added).


LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Significant Differences Between Title VII & WLAD Backpay Provisions

by Gregory Williams, Esq. | Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), are there significant differences between their respective backpay provisions? Here’s my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).


THE DAMAGES PROVISIONS

The relevant damages provision of Title VII states as follows:
(2) Exclusions from compensatory damages
Compensatory damages awarded under this section shall not include backpay, interest on backpay, or any other type of relief authorized under section 706(g) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000e–5(g)]
42 U.S.C. § 1981a(b)(2) (hyperlink added). And the relevant damages provision of WLAD states as follows:
(2) Any person deeming himself or herself injured by any act in violation of this chapter shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages sustained by the person, or both, together with the cost of suit including reasonable attorneys' fees or any other appropriate remedy authorized by this chapter or the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964....
RCW 49.60.030(2) (emphasis added) (hyperlinks added). Title VII and WLAD differ significantly in terms of plain language, operative-term usage, and scope.


DIFFERENCE IN PLAIN LANGUAGE

The plain language of Title VII and WLAD show that each law treats backpay differently than the other. The court in Martini explained the difference, as follows:
The remedies section of Washington's law against discrimination is therefore radically different from the remedies section of Title VII. Title VII specifically mentions back pay but excludes such an award from compensatory damages, leaving back pay as primarily an equitable device. But in contrast Washington's law against discrimination provides for a general award of "actual" (or compensatory) damages, with no limitation, qualification, or indication that back pay should be excluded.
Martini v. The Boeing Company, 137 Wn.2d 357, 374-75 (Wash. 1999). Accordingly, WLAD provides a much broader mandate for an award of backpay than Title VII. Both laws can be further distinguished based on their operative terms.


DIFFERENCE IN OPERATIVE-TERM USAGE

Title VII and WLAD each use different operative terms in relation to an award of backpay for breaches of their respective provisions. The court in Martini also addressed this issue, as follows:
The use of the word "may" in the remedies provision of Title VII makes it clear that an award of back pay for a breach of Title VII is not mandated by the statute. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(g)(1) (stating that when the statute has been violated, the court "may" order affirmative action which "may" include reinstatement with or without back pay). In contrast, Washington's law against discrimination is more categorical, mandating that a victim of a violation of the statute "shall have a civil action ... to recover the actual damages." RCW 49.60.030(2) (emphasis added).
Martini v. The Boeing Company, 137 Wn.2d at 375 (hyperlinks added). Thus, "[t]he legislative command to award damages is ... stronger in Washington's statute than in title VII." Id., 137 Wn.2d at 375.


DIFFERENCE IN SCOPE

Lastly, the scope of WLAD is broader than Title VII based on both covered protected classes and the mandated policy for interpreting their respective provisions. Particularly, unlike WLAD, Title VII neither covers discrimination based on marital status, age, or disability; nor contains a direction for liberal interpretationId., 137 Wn.2d at 372-73.


CONCLUSION & IMPLICATIONS

Title VII and WLAD have significantly different remedies provisions -- espectially in relation to backpay. Under Title VII, backpay is treated as an equitable remedy, whereas under WLAD it is treated as actual or compensatory damages. Ultimately, "[t]he legislative command to award damages is ... stronger in Washington's statute ...." Id., 137 Wn.2d at 375.

Arguably, the differences in available relief might produce an effective argument against an assertion of the Priority of Action Rule.


LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Overcoming Stare Decisis In WA State

by Gregory Williams, Esq. | Under Washington State laws, how may a party overcome the doctrine of stare decisis? Here’s my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).


STARE DECISIS

The doctrine of stare decisis "promotes the evenhanded, predictable, and consistent development of legal principles, fosters reliance on judicial decisions, and contributes to the actual and perceived integrity of the judicial process." State v. Johnson, 188 Wn.2d 742, 756, 399 P.3d 507 (2017) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). It is a "doctrine developed by courts to accomplish the requisite element of stability in court-made law, but is not an absolute impediment to change." State v. Otton, 185 Wn.2d 673, 678, 374 P.3d 1108 (2016) (citing In re Rights to Waters of Stranger Creek, 77 Wn.2d 649, 653, 466 P.2d 508 (1970)) (internal quotation marks omitted).

The court will typically consider a party's request for it to reject its prior decision when it's based upon either one or both of the following two approaches: (1) clear showing; and (2) intervening authority. See State v. Otton, 185 Wn.2d at 678 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).

1. THE CLEAR SHOWING APPROACH

The clear-showing approach is far more common than the intervening-authority approach, and it requires the requesting party to clearly show the following: 
1. that the established rule is incorrect; and
2. that the established rule is harmful.
See id. (internal citations and quotation marks omitted) (emphasis added).

2. THE INTERVENING AUTHORITY APPROACH

The intervening-authority approach is relatively rare. The requesting party essentially asks the court to "eschew prior precedent in deference to intervening authority where the legal underpinnings of ... [the court's] precedent have changed or disappeared altogether." See id. (citing W.G. Clark Constr. Co. v. P. Nw. Reg'l Council of Carpenters, 180 Wn.2d 54, 66, 322 P.3d 1207 (2014) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).


FRAMING THE ISSUE

When a party asks the Washington State Supreme Court to reject its prior decision, "it is an invitation ... [it] ... [does] not take lightly." Id. (citing State v. Barber, 170 Wn.2d 854, 863, 248 P.3d 494 (2011)) (internal quotation marks omitted). According to the court, the issue is framed as follows:
The question is not whether we would make the same decision if the issue presented were a matter of first impression. Instead, the question is whether the prior decision is so problematic that it must be rejected, despite the many benefits of adhering to precedent--" 'promot[ing] the evenhanded, predictable, and consistent development of legal principles, foster[ing] reliance on judicial decisions, and contribut[ing] to the actual and perceived integrity of the judicial process.'"
State v. Otton, 185 Wn.2d at 678 (citing Keene v. Edie, 131 Wn.2d 822, 831, 935 P.2d 588 (1997)) (internal citation omitted) (alteration to original).


LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.

Actual & Compensatory Damages Are Synonymous Under WLAD

by Gregory Williams, Esq. | Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), are actual damages synonymous with compensatory damagesHere’s my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).

WASHINGTON LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

Under WLAD, it is an unfair practice, with very few exceptions, for an employer to refuse to hire any person, to discharge or bar any person from employment, or to discriminate against any person in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of age (40+); sex (including pregnancy); marital statussexual orientation (including gender identity); race; color; creednational originhonorably discharged veteran or military statusHIV/AIDS and hepatitis C status; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; and state employee or health care whistleblower status. It is also an unfair practice for an employer to retaliate against an employee because the employee complained about job discrimination or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

WLAD REMEDIES FOR UNFAIR PRACTICES

WLAD expressly provides for remedies for unfair practices as follows:
Any person deeming himself or herself injured by any act in violation of this chapter shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages sustained by the person, or both, together with the cost of suit including reasonable attorneys' fees or any other appropriate remedy authorized by this chapter or the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964....
Martini v. The Boeing Company, 137 Wn.2d 357, 366-67 (Wash. 1999) (citing RCW 49.60.030(2)) (emphasis and hyperlinks added).

ACTUAL DAMAGES ARE SYNONYMOUS WITH COMPENSATORY DAMAGES

Under WLAD, "'actual damages' are synonymous with compensatory damages." Id. (citing Black's Law Dictionary 35 (6th ed.1990) (hyperlinks added). "As the dictionary definition notes, Washington courts have interpreted the term 'actual damages' in this manner." Id. at 367-68 (internal citations omitted) (hyperlinks added).


LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.

Friday, April 13, 2018

WLAD & The Constructive Discharge Provision

by Gregory Williams, Esq. | Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), is there a provision for constructive discharge? Here’s my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).

WASHINGTON LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

Under WLAD, it is an unfair practice, with very few exceptions, for an employer to refuse to hire any person, to discharge or bar any person from employment, or to discriminate against any person in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of age (40+); sex (including pregnancy); marital statussexual orientation (including gender identity); race; color; creednational originhonorably discharged veteran or military statusHIV/AIDS and hepatitis C status; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; and state employee or health care whistleblower status. It is also an unfair practice for an employer to retaliate against an employee because the employee complained about job discrimination or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

DEFINITION OF CONSTRUCTIVE DISCHARGE

Generally, a constructive discharge occurs "where an employer forces an employee to quit by making that employee's work conditions intolerable." Martini v. The Boeing Company, 137 Wn.2d 357 (Wash. 1999) at fn. 3 (citing Barrett v. Weyerhaeuser Co. Severance Pay Plan, 40 Wash.App. 630, 631, 700 P.2d 338 (1985)). "The doctrine of constructive discharge has been described by this court as requiring 'a deliberate act of the employer creating the intolerable condition, without regard to the employer's mental state as to the resulting consequence." Martini, 137 Wn.2d at 366 (citing Bulaich, v. AT & T Info. Sys., 113 Wash.2d 254, 261, 778 P.2d 1031 (1989)) (hyperlink added).

THE CONSTRUCTIVE DISCHARGE PROVISION

RCW 49.60.180(2) is a subsection of WLAD that deals with discharge of an employee. It "has been interpreted to include a prohibition against constructive discharge." Martini, 137 Wn.2d at 366 (citing Bulaich v. AT & T Info. Sys., 113 Wash.2d 254, 259, 778 P.2d 1031 (1989)) (hyperlink added).


LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.