Washington Employment Law Update – March 2018

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March 26, 2018
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March 26, 2018

Military Leave Clarifications

On March 15, 2018, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation (H.B. 2851) clarifying the calculation of military leave for officers and employees that work shifts spanning more than one calendar day. According to the legislation, if the officer or employee is scheduled to work a shift that begins on one calendar day and ends on the next calendar day, then he or she will be charged military leave for only the first calendar day. However, if the officer or employee is scheduled to work a shift that begins on one calendar day and ends later than the next calendar day, then he or she will be charged military leave for each calendar day except the calendar day on which the shift ends.

The law is effective June 6, 2018.

Read WA H.B. 2851

Domestic Violence Leave Amended

On March 13, 2018, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation (H.B. 2661) revising employment discrimination provisions relating to the protection of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. These provisions will now include protections for job applicants and the requirement to permit a reasonable safety accommodation unless it would cause an undue burden on the employer.

The law is effective June 6, 2018.

Read WA H.B. 2661

Fair Chance Act (Ban the Box)

On March 13, 2018, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation (H.B. 1298) enacting the state’s Fair Chance Act. The act prohibits Washington employers from asking about arrests or convictions, or receiving information through a criminal background check, before a job applicant is deemed otherwise qualified for a position, with exceptions. The law also restricts employment openings ads from excluding people with criminal records from applying. For example, ads that state, “no felons,” “no criminal background,” or otherwise convey similar messages are prohibited.

The law does not pre-empt local laws that provide additional protections for applicants with criminal records, such as the Seattle ordinance, nor does it prohibit local governments from enacting greater protections. However, local government laws that provide lesser protections conflict with this law and may not be enforced.

The law is effective on June 7, 2018.

Read WA H.B. 1298

Criminal Background Checks for State Employees or Contractors

On March 9, 2018, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation (H.B. 2208) authorizing criminal background investigations for state employees and contractors that have access to federal tax information.

The law is effective June 6, 2018.

Read WA H.B. 2208

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