Profiting Off a “Volunteer” Workforce is Unlawful

We have seen a disturbing trend of for-profit companies using well-meaning people to “volunteer.”  Clever companies have convinced Washington employees to work for free by claiming the workers are “volunteers.”  These companies do not pay these employees even though the companies are making a profit off of their labor. This is illegal and the backpay attorneys at Rekhi & Wolk have been protecting these workers. For example, Rekhi & Wolk recently settled a class action lawsuit with a large comic … Continued

When you’re fired because you made a workers’ compensation claim, Part 2

In our previous post we explained how employees can get help if they are fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. We recommend employees file a complaint with Washington Labor and industries. Employees cannot always use that method.  For example, employees must file a complaint within 90 days of the discrimination. An employee may not be able to file a complaint in that short time period. However, there are other options available to Washington employees. In this post we will discuss … Continued

When you’re fired because you made a worker’s compensation claim, Part 1

This is the first of a three part series. We examine what an employee can do when he or she is discriminated against for making a claim under Washington’s Workers’ Compensation laws (also known as Industrial Insurance Act). An employee has many protections under Washington’s employment laws available. However, fighting back can be hard, so we recommend you speak to an experienced employment lawyer.  Each case is unique so please feel free to contact us to set up a time to talk. Washington … Continued

Help! I’ve been fired because of my race!

If you have been fired recently (within the last three years), and you think you can prove the motivation was, at least in part, your race, then you may have legal recourse under the Washington Law Against Discrimination. But what do we mean by race? And how do you prove that your termination was motivated by your race, since most employers do not advertise racist views? What is Race? Interestingly, race is not actually grounded in biology: not one characteristic, … Continued

Washington State Rest Break Laws

You should know your rights when your employer does not provide you with proper rest breaks. We have put together a simple primer on Washington’s rest break laws. Note that this is general information about Washington’s rest break laws; each case has unique facts which may make a difference when applying the law. Laws also change over time, so make sure to review or check with a lawyer to make sure you have the most up to date information. Length … Continued

Class Action Update: Stifling the Best Tool for Workers to Recover Unpaid Wages

Why do some employers choose to “nickel and dime” their employees? Its not uncommon. The simple fact is that for most employers, their single greatest expense is their labor – meaning the employee. Unscrupulous employers have a strong incentive to cut labor costs, even by violating wage laws. They hope that they don’t get caught violating Washington employment laws, and even if they do, they might have to only pay one or two employees their back pay instead of all … Continued

Which State’s Employment Laws Apply to Me?

If you become involved in a employment dispute, one of the first things you need to do is to figure out which state’s employment laws apply to your issue. Often times the answer to this question is easy. For example, if you live in Washington state, work for a company based in the state of Washington, and are physically located in Washington, then Washington employment laws apply. The question becomes more difficult in many real life situations. For example, what if an … Continued

ROGERS V. RCKC

In December 2015, along with the Hanley Law Firm, Rekhi & Wolk filed a class action in King County Superior Court on behalf of employees who were employed by Recovery Centers of King County (RCKC) from December 2012. The lawsuit is known as Rogers, et al. v. Recovery Centers of King County, King Co. Case No. 14-2-32248-8 SEA. In May 2015, RCKC filed a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. By filing the petition, the King County case was automatically stayed. … Continued

What to do if you’ve been wrongfully terminated

This is a brief primer on “wrongful termination” under Washington state law. As always, the advice contained herein is for general educational purposes only. It should not be construed or acted upon as legal advice for your particular situation. You should consult with an attorney prior to acting on any information contained in this blog. Generally, speaking employment is “at-will,” meaning an employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason. However, this is not exactly true. … Continued