It is no secret that Washington state has very complex workers’ compensation laws—even a seemingly straightforward claim can become complicated under closer examination. This is frustrating for employers, especially when they have information that could assist in the claims process but aren’t sure if they should provide it or what their next step should be. To provide clarity amidst all of the complexity, here are five common myths and facts that can help you navigate the intricate world of workers’ compensation claims. Myth #1: Questioning the validity of the claim will get it denied. Fact: In Washington state, the Industrial Insurance Act and workers’ compensation laws are clear, indicating “the law
Employment Law and Labor Relations
The time and effort it takes to comply with state and federal laws while effectively managing day-to-day operations can be a drain on any organization’s resources. And, if you are unionized, your challenge is even greater.
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As the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) stay-at-home orders start to lift, and business restrictions begin to relax, you may be considering how to ramp up operations and bring employees back to work safely and within compliance. Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees from potential COVID-19 exposure in the workplace. No matter what type of business you run, one of your main concerns should be creating or strengthening your site’s housekeeping plan. Why Housekeeping? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has declared that housekeeping is an essential part of an employer’s strategy to protect workers from COVID-19. Enforcement agencies like The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Oregon Occupational
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, Washington law has updated two items related to protected class status. The definition of “race” in the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) now includes “traits historically associated or perceived to be associated with race including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles…including afros, braids, locks, and twists.” This additional language does not add a protected class but clarifies that