Category Archives: Employment

Streaming worship services under Washington’s shelter-in-place order.

On March 23, Governor Jay Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation. It requires all residents to stay at home except to conduct or participate in essential activities or for employment in essential business services. The proclamation is clear that multi-person gatherings, including spiritual and faith-based activities, are prohibited. But what about churches livestreaming […]

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Mandatory Paid Leave: Paid Sick Leave

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act  The recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (Act). Effective as of April 2, 2020,  employers that employ less than 500 employees must provide additional paid sick leave to their employees for certain absences related to COVID-19 (C19 Paid Sick Leave). The Act provides full-time employees 80 hours of C19 Paid Sick Leave. Part-time employees have C19 Paid Sick Leave equal to the number of hours […]

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Mandatory Paid Leave: the E-FMLA

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act Congress passed and the president signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which included the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (E-FMLA). E-FMLA goes into effect on April 2, 2020 and expands coverage of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include paid leave to care for […]

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Clergy housing allowance survives another challenge

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently dismissed another constitutional challenge to the clergy housing allowance.  The lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation argued that the clergy housing allowance violated the First Amendment.  The Court of Appeals held that the FFRF did not have standing because it had not been specifically injured. The housing allowance allows […]

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Lessons learned from the demise of Paseo

Social media lit up today at news that highly-rated Caribbean sandwich shop Paseo had closed.  This comes a few months after several former employees sued Paseo and its president for wrongful termination and unlawful withholding of wages.  The defendants deny much of the allegations.  While ELM does not represent anyone in the lawsuit and has no […]

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State Supreme Court Delivers Mixed Result in Religious Employer Case

The Washington State Supreme Court just ruled that the religious employer exemption to the state antidiscrimination law is facially constitutional.   Ellis, Li & McKinstry was involved in this case as counsel for several faith-based organizations acting as amici curiae (“friends of the court”). The brief filed by ELM was referred to several times by the […]

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Seattle’s New Criminal Background Check Ordinance

Employers beware! Effective November 1, 2013, a new City of Seattle ordinance (pdf) will severely restrict a private employer’s ability to ask about and use the criminal conviction history of its job applicants and employees. So what’s a Seattle employer to do? Here are some things you should consider: 1. Prepare for these new restrictions. The ordinance […]

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