Recent Legislative Changes and How They Shift the Legal Landscape for Employers

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Breaking Developments In Labor and Employment Law

The Washington State Legislature ended its regular session on April 22, 2007. The 2007 legislative session resulted in the passage of several bills that will directly -- and likely significantly -- affect employers in Washington.

Signed by Governor Gregoire on May 4, 2007, SSB 5340 represents the legislative overrule of the Washington Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in McClarty v. Totem Electric, Inc. SSB 5340 amends the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD” and codifies a definition of

“disability” under state law that is much broader than the definition under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) previously adopted by McClarty. The WLAD has also been amended to include “honorably discharged veteran or military status” as a new protected category, and Washington’s Fair Credit Reporting Act has been amended to limit employers’ access to employee credit information. Another piece of new legislation provides for paid family

leave for employees beginning in 2009, although no funding source has been identified.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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