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Legal Updates Employers May Have Missed This Spring

As employers have been dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and the new laws associated with the virus, other new laws or changes to existing legislation have transpired. The following is an overview of recent laws affecting employers in the Pacific Northwest. Washington Protected Class Updates: Effective June 11, 2020,… 

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Ten Ways Employers Are Now at Risk for Lawsuits

As businesses previously forced to close move toward reopening or bringing furloughed employees back to work, employers must heed a disturbing trend of increased employee lawsuits arising from doing business during a pandemic. Federal Court employee lawsuits rose more than 215% from March 2020 to May 2, 2020. Employee claims… 

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States Continue to Release Reopening Guidelines for Employers

Over the past several days, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho have announced a gradual lifting of ”stay home” orders and reopening of non-essential businesses. In order to ensure the safety of employees and compliance with new requirements, employers must be mindful of federal and state guidelines before and during the reopening… 

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Preparing for Workplace Safety and Health Inspections During COVID-19

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers face difficult decisions regarding business operations. Decreased product demand, staff shortages, and ever-changing regulations are just some of the challenges employers are facing. Do employers also need to be worried about a surprise state safety inspection? Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Washington Labor… 

Piece of the Pie

Archbright’s Manufacturing Retro Program: A Nice Piece of the Pie

In 1981 L&I started offering a voluntary Retrospective Rating program, also known as “retro.” Retro programs are safety incentive programs providing the opportunity for employers to earn refunds on L&I insurance premiums as a reward for creating safe work environments. Archbright began sponsoring its first retro program in 1985 and… 

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How to Respond to Employees Who Are Afraid to Return to Work

As employers prepare to return employees to work and resume operations, employees may not be ready to return to physical workplaces. Workers could be unwilling to return to work because they are sick; are high-risk individuals; are caregivers for sick family members; are caregivers for children if schools or daycare… 

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4 Ways to Strengthen Employee Relations During the Pandemic

In light of the current pandemic, the employer-employee relationship is more critical than ever. As companies transition to remote work at an unprecedented magnitude, this new arrangement can leave people at all levels of the organization confused, nervous, and frustrated. Without a strong employee relations plan or strategy, it is… 

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Accommodating High-Risk Employees During a Pandemic

Employers are required to reasonably accommodate employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state disability laws. The ADA prohibits discrimination by an employer against any “qualified individual with a known disability” regarding job applications, hiring, advancement, termination, compensation, training, or other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.Employers have… 

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Compensation Practices During the Pandemic: Lessening the Impact

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, employers must rethink their compensation practices and strategies, and remain flexible with their pay programs where possible. As companies evaluate their current financial situation and prepare for the months to come, compensation is a significant part of that assessment. Employers can take some actions now to…