Washington Employment Law Updates – 2018

Washington Employment Law Updates – 2018

March
March 23 – Gov. Inslee signed a law relating to the deduction of union dues and fees from employees
On March 23, 2018, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 2751. This law addresses issues related to employers’ obligations regarding deducting union dues and fees from employees.
The new law becomes effective on June 7, 2018.
March 23 – Gov. Inslee signed a law relating to new employee access for exclusive bargaining representatives
On March 23, 2018, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 6229. This law grants exclusive bargaining representatives the right to meet with new employees to present information about their employment rights. New employees are not required to meet with their exclusive bargaining representatives.
The new law becomes effective on June 7, 2018.
March 23 – Gov. Inslee signed a law relating to statute of limitations for unfair labor practices
On March 23, 2018, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 6231. This law sets the statute of limitations for unfair labor practices filed in superior court at six (6) months.
The new law becomes effective on June 7, 2018.
March 23 – Gov. Inslee signed a law establishing a stakeholders work group responsible for developing model sexual harassment policies and best practices
On March 23, 2018, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 6471. This law creates a stakeholder work group that will be responsible for developing model policies and best practice to help keep employees safe from sexual harassment. The stakeholder work group will operate under the direction of the Washington Human Rights Commission and consist of business leaders, union leaders, human resources professionals, and other individuals deemed necessary. By January 1, 2019, the Commission must adopt and publish the model policies and best practices.
The new law becomes effective on June 7, 2018.
March 21 – Gov. Inslee signed a law relating to gender equity pay
On March 21, 2018, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1506. This law makes changes to the state’s gender equity pay law including better defining what it means to be similarly employed.
The new law becomes effective on June 7, 2018.
March 21 – Gov. Inslee signed a law relating to maximum penalties under the state’s industrial safety and health act
On March 21, 2018, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1953. This law adds language to the state’s industrial safety and health law allowing for higher penalty amounts than those prescribed in the law when required by the federal occupational safety and health administration.
The new law becomes effective on January 1, 2019.
March 21 – Gov. Inslee signed a law prohibiting employers from including sexual harassment or assault in nondisclosure agreements
On March 21, 2018, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 5996. This law prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign nondisclosure agreements that include discussions of sexual harassment or assault occurring at the workplace, at work events or in any other way between the employer and employee. Additionally, the new law prohibits employees from discussing sexual harassment or assault that occurred at the workplace, at work events or in any other way between the employer and employee. The new law does not prohibit settlement agreements relating to workplace sexual harassment or assault from having confidentiality provisions.
The new law becomes effective on June 7, 2018.
March 21 – Gov. Inslee signed a law prohibiting employers requiring employees to waive their right to pursue claims of discrimination or require they be resolved through dispute resolution
On March 21, 2018, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 6313. This law prohibits employers requiring employees to waive their right to file state or federal discrimination claims.
It also prohibits employers from requiring employees to agree to resolve discrimination claims through dispute resolution.
The new law becomes effective on June 7, 2018.
March 13 – Gov. Inslee signed a law expanding employment protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking
On March 13, 2018, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 2661. This law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or refusing to hire individuals who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It also requires employers from refusing to provide victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking reasonable safety accommodation. Other requirements and limitation apply.
The new law becomes effective on June 6, 2018.
March 13 – Gov. Inslee signed the Fair Chance Act (ban the box) that provides hiring protections to individuals with criminal convictions
On March 13, 2018, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1298. This law prohibits employers from asking applicants about arrests or convictions before the applicant is determined to be otherwise qualified for a position. Other requirements and limitations apply.
The new law becomes effective on June 7, 2018.
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