Skip to main content
John Robert Bonin

John Bonin’s Answers

207 total


  • Is my landlord violating the law?

    I live in an apartment in Kennewick, WA. My 9 year old son has a high functioning form of Autism. My landlord is aware of the disability. My son is constantly being harassed by the other kids & adults when he goes outside. He is being told where h...

    John’s Answer

    I appreciate the prior answer. I suggest contact with the Washington State Human Rights Commission. I believe you may be surprised to find that they have an interest in your concerns.

    See question 
  • What type of attorney do I need for a tenant problem about mold? I am a landlord & my tenant's mom (tenant is 19).

    My tenant claims there is mold in my new building. I had my builder come and check and everything was kosher. However, tenant's mom (with her doctor's note) now wants her rent back for April and wants me to pay for her son's rent elsewhere. What d...

    John’s Answer

    Real Estate concentrating attorney with an emphasis on landlord representation would be best. Do not delay and do not neglect either having that attorney make contact with your relevant insurance company or doing so yourself. The notice you obtained may be considered a "notice" to you of a potential claim and there may be deadlines to report such an issue. In addition, carriers frequently address matters like this pro-actively to prevent the filing of claims. It may be that your carrier hires an attorney for you. There is much more that could be discussed -- which is why you should not delay in getting to an attorney. The fact that there has only been one response to this question in five days is concerning. I hope you have followed prior responding counsel's advice.

    See question 
  • Need an attorney skilled in all aspects of the music industry.

    opening an venue in the NW where musicians will play live, have the opportunity to be recorded, sign for specific levels of management, and other specialty services.

    John’s Answer

    nice to know that your considering this in Mason County. Feel free to call if you need info or referrals.

    See question 
  • Can a lawyer charge you for free consultation?

    I was told by the receptionist initial consultation was free and when the meeting was over lawyer also said he won't charge me. It was about 30-45 minutes long meeting. He wasn't sure if he can help me. I also said I wasn't sure if I want to proce...

    John’s Answer

    Sounds like communication error. Have polite but direct communication with the attorney to see if you can change position -- or if the position is even valid or just office error. If you obtained value in the meeting you had and are willing to recognize that you may offer to pay something as a compromise as the old saying about all lawyers can bill for is time is actually true. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of a personal meeting on the topic try a written letter -- but I would not make it mean spirited or angry, just a statement of how you feel about it (similar to what you have written above). If that fails the Washington State Bar offers a Fee Dispute/Fee Arbitration program. It is not a "bar complaint" -- it is a free forum for you to write your concern to regarding the billing and our regulatory authority (the bar) works to try to help resolve the issue. The website for learning about this program is www.wsba.org. So you know --- I don't see any attorney ever actively trying to cheat any client out of an amount like $400. We pay a large amount of money an go through quite a bit for our ability to do what we do and I can assure you that $400 and negative feelings in the community where service is provided is absolutely not anyone's goal. I would be surprised if you had to actually go through the "fee dispute process" if you politely take the steps that I have outlined here.

    See question 
  • A principal is bullying a staff member what do we do?

    He is picking on her, he is constantly degrading her and even resulting in lying on other staff members to make her seem as if she is not doing her job. He has told her she is not a friendly (when she definitely is) he has said she isn't good at h...

    John’s Answer

    It is more probable than not that the employee is in a union position. Most union collective bargaining agreements have articles of enforcement regarding demeanor and a grievance can be filed on the issues you are discussing. If a non-union position in a union dominated arena it is still possible that if the issue involves some union members that a union grievance could be filed. In short - she should consult with a shop-steward and/or have a union member do so on her behalf. This is only one of several possible avenues. Face to face consult with an attorney in a timely way would be very helpful -- if not actually than at least for information. Assuming "non-union" and that the union does not see an issue that they need to get involved in -- there may also be similar provisions in the school district policy and procedure manual as well as a grievance process for non-union members. Again, this is just informational material in this response and is not in any way a proper substitute for actual and fact specific advice with all information known. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (as well as a group of lobbyists) tried very hard recently to create "anti-bullying" provisions in our laws. Due to the somewhat aggressive nature of our state of Washington's primary and largest CIVIL EMPLOYMENT DEFENSE firm (the Washington Attorney General's Office) the lobbying efforts failed. The "opinion" of our Attorney General's office --- which incidentally is charged with defending the 250 state agencies that exist in our government ---was that adequate protections without "bullying" laws were present. Of course, who are we to doubt the word and opinion of our attorney general. Similarly, Labor and Industries actually developed a complaint process for "bullying" in the work environment. Unfortunately, after drafting several pretty forms an even opening a few cases they ultimately came back with the opinions that they lacked any means to enforce or repair such issues. All of this essentially boils down to the basic tenant that in Washington it is not against the law for your boss to be a jerk....your boss must be a discriminatory jerk. So, is HE a discriminatory jerk against HER? Good luck.

    See question 
  • Do we have a legit racial or retaliation claim?

    3 months ago our new head cook said he wanted that laotian piece of ***** fired {my fiance}. we reported it to our manager who said that thongsa wouldnt b fired an that shed talked 2 the owner about it. we found out yesterday that she nvr did tell...

    John’s Answer

    The answer is maybe but maybe not. I know...what a great amount of help. You have identified a few interesting triggers to give rise to a potential claim. What needs to be done is a timeline -- all cases, no matter what they are, are typically presented in a timeline fashion. Your fiance should sit down at a computer or sit down next to you at one and give you a timeline. A great start would be an introductory paragraph like: .I was hired on ___. My job at time of hire was _____. I worked for ______. The entity I worked for had ____ full time and ___part time employees. My rate of pay was ______. My job duties were______. My immediate supervisor's name was ______. His/her title was ________. I started developing problems at work when________________.....NOW CARRY IT THROUGH TO THE END. If there are e-mails, text messages, photos, letters of reprimand, put them in the timeline where they fit and attach it to the timeline. The race based comment, if from a supervisor, may be discrimination. The dancing cow costume...depending on surrounding circumstances MAY (and note the capital letters) also be something. The reduction in hours also MAY be something depending upon the circumstances surrounding that. What you need is an attorney in the Ritzville area who understands employment law. You may have to go to Yakima for that. However, you also need to know that if your employer has enough employees to qualify as being subject to EEOC investigation that your fiance has 300 days from the act of discrimination to file a charge if he wants them to investigate and if he wants the state human rights commission to investigate he must file with them within 180 days of the discriminatory act. Your specific question does not however deal with discrimination, but rather with RETALIATION. (you did check both retaliation and discrimination as the areas of law you wanted answers about though) Retaliation is different from discrimination to have a charge of retaliation the employer must be retaliating against him for something that is protected. What has he done that is protected? Did he file a charge with a government entity? Did he speak out about someone else and their protected status? If so, is what happened to him based on what he did? It may help your fiance to get a picture of him in his dancing cow costume...there are some good cases out there on discrimination based on issues of putting minorities in costumes and making them were things like gloves so that people can't see the color of their skin, etc. TIMELINE...know what it is you are trying to claim...see if the timeline supports what you are trying to claim or something else...and see an attorney.

    See question 
  • Can i fire an employee who has seizures if his job involve driving and heavy tool use? I believe a safety issue is present.

    Hi - I own a small business - auto repair - and have an employee who has a history of seizures (medically of an undetermined nature - I don't know the formal diagnosis). They are unpredictable and but fairly infrequent (6x per year). he had o...

    John’s Answer

    The last thing you should do is post this level of description on a web site like this. You are a business owner. You have a private legal question to be asking of an attorney. As a business owner it is in your best interest to find a local attorney in your area to ask questions like this in a much more secure and confidential setting. Washington's law against discrimination (which parallels Federal Law as discussed in some prior answers which narrowly targets the question you have asked and does properly discuss legal theories) can be found in RCW 49.60. The posting of this question and the relying upon an answer to act without properly conferring with an attorney in this matter could really come back to harm you. Examples of things people have to assume or not discuss when looking at your post: illnesses can be medicated. drivers licenses can have restrictions. Those are just some of the most obvious types of things that could be better fleshed out more privately. The thing this post tells me more than anything else is that you need to find and enter a business relationship with a consulting attorney. If you can delete this post and do that it might be in your best interest to do it. If you can't delete this post you still need to see an attorney - develop a relationship with that attorney that allows you to make calls to ask questions like this -- an avoid posting anything so specific again.

    See question 
  • Off for medical leave. Employer making hurtful comments. Can I get Unemployment after 10yrs with company?

    I submitted a dr perscribed work release for 2 weeks off. With in 20 min the owner of the company leaves a voicemail telling me the company does not have medical leave or fmla. She is demanding more information from myself and dr. Within 1hr of th...

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Get to an attorney who concentrates in employment law right away. There are plenty in the Tacoma area. Save the voicemail! Create a timeline of what happened and when. You should not make a decision on whether to take steps like you are contemplating without talking face to face with an attorney. As a general rule "constructive discharge" (if that is what this is...and all facts need to be understood to even give an opinion there) is much more difficult to address - not only in an unemployment setting, but in other potential legal actions your facts might trigger.

    See question 
  • Does this count as constructive discharge?

    I was employed with a company who failed to pay me my wages due to failure on there end. I only worked for the company for a month and a half and all three pay checks where missing hours. It was the fault of two different agencies who made mistake...

    John’s Answer

    seek out a lawyer promptly. There are multiple potential issues here and there are many facts missing for a fair analysis. Failure to pay wages when due could be, among other things, considered a basis to claim you were terminated from employment. The immediate issue that comes to my mind is whether or not you might be qualified for unemployment insurance and if you worked for the employer long enough to qualify. Washington State Department of Labor and Industries employment standards department may be able to help you recover wages that you earned but were not paid if you do not go to a lawyer or lawyers decline your case. I think there may be more to this story so it is probably worth your effort to sit down with a lawyer for a private evaluation of matters. Good luck.

    See question 
  • If my special needs child was sent home wearing a safety harness w/o notice or documentation being completed, what do I do?

    My son is autistic and has had one known safety incident on the bus. We received written notice from the school. During the one week I was out of town and contacted by the school about a safety harness, I asked them to contact my husband. He says ...

    John’s Answer

    You should consult with an attorney. An attorney can help you navigate this and identify claims if they exist. It is not clear from your facts that such claims do exist, but they may. In addition, School Districts have dispute and appeals systems in place. You may be able to consult with and might qualify for free assistance from Northwest Justice Project (google the name for contact info). To learn about the grievance dispute and appeals process. There may also be basis to file complaints with other government regulatory entities. There also may be reason to take your child to his doctor to provide instruction to the School on a proper form of accommodation. There are potential time limits to making certain claims so consult someone promptly. Good Luck.

    See question