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New Administration Brings Heightened Workplace Protections for LGBTQ+ Employees

With every new political administration, the inevitable shift in priorities is like a pendulum swinging in the opposite direction. Recently, with the Biden administration taking office, federal legislation has been focused on restoring previously repealed bills and introducing new bills that promote equal rights for LGBTQ+ individuals in employment, housing, healthcare, and more. President Biden signed an Executive Order reversing a ban on transgender people serving in the military and… 

A nurse giving a Covid-19 vaccine to a worker

11 Questions on Workers’ Compensation & COVID-19

For the first time in history, employers have had to navigate workers’ compensation insurance during a global pandemic. It seems that just as quickly as new information comes out to address one situation, a new concern emerges, often leaving businesses scrambling for answers. In this post, you will find answers to some of the most common questions we’ve been hearing from employers. Does Washington Workers’ Compensation Cover COVID-19 Claims? It… 

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Are Union Employers Required to Engage in Bargaining Before Deducting the New Long-Term Care Tax?

Governor Jay Inslee passed the nation’s first long-term care insurance (LTI) for Washington employees last spring. The LTI program mandates a payroll tax for Washington-based employees to pay for long-term care expenses. The statutory language provides that an employer “must collect” LTI premiums from employees through payroll deductions and remit them to the Employment Security Department (ESD). The tax amounts to 0.58% of payroll, or 58 cents per $100 of… 

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Workplace Harassment and Investigations in the Virtual Environment

This article was updated on 4/13/21 from its first publication date of 7/29/20. Removing employees from the physical workplace does not remove harassment from the workplace. Employers can be liable for harassing conduct even if it occurs outside the physical workplace. It can appear digitally in social media posts or even in the perceived safety of an employee’s home. During the past 12 months, employees who work remotely may be… 

People with masks getting vaccinated

Vaccine Roundup: Answers to Employers’ Most Common Vaccination Questions

With vaccinations opening to all adults in Washington within the coming weeks, employers’ most common COVID-19 questions have shifted from how to handle positive cases or exposures at work to how to address vaccinations. Here are answers to the questions that many employers are asking: Can We Mandate Our Employees to Get Vaccinated? In general, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that an employer may mandate vaccination. Still,… 

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Values That Drive Disparity—Hidden in Plain Sight

Below is the first article in a series exploring topics and learning from the 2021 NW Diversity Learning Series – Speak Up, Speak Out: Get into Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble. Learnings and reflection from the January session, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Examining the Values that Drive Disparity,” are the impetus for Part I. “When your outcomes are predictable, your values are clear.” Have you ever thought about how transparent an… 

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National Business Trends and the Pacific Northwest

In November 2020, the Employer Associations of America (EAA) published their 2021 National Business Trends survey, coordinated by Cascade Employers Association, and made possible by the collaborative efforts of employer associations nationwide, including Archbright. The survey includes 1,484 distinct participating organizations across all industries and all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C. The participants ranged in size, with the majority from smaller companies with 1-99 employees. Other participant information… 

Doctor preparing for injection of vaccine

COVID-19: Can Employers Mandate Vaccination?

With two approved vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19 now available, eventually, all individuals will have access to the vaccine. Although it may be several months before it is available to everyone, many employers are asking whether they can require employees to get the vaccine when it is available. In general, the answer will likely be yes – with some exceptions, as outlined below. Before implementing any mandatory vaccination program,… 

worker with injured eye

The Proper Handling and Prevention of Workplace Injuries

Imagine an ambulance just took your employee to the hospital for an eye injury. You wonder how this could have happened; you provide safety glasses to all workers. A ton of questions come to mind. Will the employee be okay? Will their vision be impacted? Could they lose their eye? Will your company be in trouble? Could this happen to another employee? What are you supposed to do now? These… 

happy workers

Five Reasons Updated Job Descriptions Matter

A job description is a useful tool to describe a position’s tasks, duties, functions, and responsibilities. They form the foundation for many important processes such as job postings, recruitment, selection, wage and hour classifications, setting expectations, compensation, training, performance management, and appropriately responding to ADA accommodation or light duty requests. If you use employee job descriptions as living, breathing documents that are updated regularly to reflect the changing requirements of…