In September 2020, a number of contractors hired to demolish Pier 58 on the Seattle waterfront were violently plunged into…
Employment and Labor Relations Department attorneys have represented employers in state and federal courts, at trial court and appellate levels. These cases have encompassed every employment issue imaginable. Many involved class allegations or multiple plaintiffs.
Our department lawyers have defended both public and private sector employers in civil lawsuits and administrative proceedings involving claims of discrimination, wage and hour violations, breach of the duty of fair representation, civil rights violations, disability accommodation, workplace safety, whistle-blower retaliation, qui tam actions, wrongful discharge, immigration, industrial injuries, unemployment compensation, and trade secret violations. We have represented employers in proceedings before virtually every federal, state, and local administrative agency including the NLRB, PERC, the State Department of Labor and Industries, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, the U. S. Department of Labor, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Seattle Office of Human Rights, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Washington State Human Rights Commission. Because of our substantial history of representation of public employers, Department attorneys also have significant experience with public information/disclosure issues.
- Fernandez v. Bremerton Housing Authority, Kitsap County Superior Court. Obtained summary judgment on plaintiff’s age, race and disability discrimination claims and claims of retaliation.
- Birge et al. v. Volt Information Sciences, Inc. et al., King County arbitration by 5 employees for racial discrimination and retaliation claims. Obtained partial summary judgment.
- Gilbo v. Salvation Army, EEOC. Obtained case dismissal of EEOC charge for race and sex discrimination.
- Hall v. Salvation Army, Seattle Office of Civil Rights. Obtained dismissal of Seattle Office of Civil Rights discrimination claims based on sexual orientation and retaliation.
- Ratty v. University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, UW Medicine, King County Superior Court. Class action regarding independent contractor status of medical interpreters. Class certification motion defeated, leading to settlement.
- Waters v. Gai’s Seattle French Baking Company, and Whitson v. Langendorf Baking Company, King County Superior Court. Consolidated class actions regarding the exempt status of bakery route sales representatives. Class certification motions defeated, leading to settlement.
- Chavez v. Group Health Cooperative and Group Health Permanente, Pierce County Superior Court. Classaction by patients contending negligent hiring and supervision of physician and medical malpractice.
- United Food and Commercial Workers v. Smith, King County Superior Court. Class action for unpaid wages.
- Hisle v. Todd Pacific Shipyards Corp., King County Superior Court, Class action regarding the treatment of ratification bonuses in union contract.
- Boursee v. Texaco Refining & Marketing and Consolidated Personnel Corp., U. S. District Court, Western District of Washington. Class action for unpaid wages and benefits. Class certification motion defeated, leading to settlement.
- Santa Rosa v. Interstate Brands Corp., King County Superior Court. Class action regarding exempt status of route sales employees.
- Meads v. Shuttle Express, King County Superior Court. Class allegation regarding allegedly unpaid overtime.
- Schneider v. Snyder’s Bakery, Yakima County Superior Court. Class action regarding viability of pay system. Employer prevailed at trial and on appeal.
- Guydish v. U. S. Bakery, King Count Superior Court. Class action challenging State approval of “reasonable equivalency” pay system. Employer prevailed on summary judgment and on appeal.
- Hale v. Republic Airlines and Lea v. Republic Airlines, U. S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Alleged failure to enhance retirement benefits for hundreds of pilots. Employer prevailed on summary judgment and on appeal.
- Richardson v. Pension Plan of Bethlehem Steel, U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Alleged violation of ERISA for failure to provide “shut-down” benefits for hundreds of unionized employees. Employer prevailed on summary judgment and at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Agnello v. Bethlehem Steel, U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and Blank v. Bethlehem Steel, U. S. District Court for the Western District of Florida. Alleged violation of ERISA for failure to provide accelerated retirement and health benefits to hundreds of exempt employees upon plant closings. Agnello case was settled. Blank won on summary judgment, affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, cert. denied by the U. S. Supreme Court.
- White et al. v. Salvation Army, Washington Court of Appeals. Established an employer may comply with meal and rest break requirements through unscheduled, intermittent rest breaks and meal periods.
- Harris v. City of Seattle, et. al., U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Statutory immunity applied to human resources investigator’s good faith communications to agency. U. S. ex rel. Harris v. Alan Richey, Inc., United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. Employee in qui tam action asserting claims under the False Claims Act failed to meet requirements of federal rules.