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Daniel A Swedlow

Daniel Swedlow’s Answers

54 total

  • Can I be fired from my current job due to a filing a lawsuit against a previous employer?

    I am thinking about filing a lawsuit against my previous employer because I received a threatening text from one of my managers. I spoke to my head manager and said it was filed with HR. I quite the job because I could not work for the managemen...

    Daniel’s Answer

    As a general rule, unless you are in a union job, you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all in WA. The only exceptions are that you can't be fired for an illegal reason (i.e. because of your race, gender, nationality, sexual identity, age, etc.). You also have certain protections against retaliation for engaging in certain behaviors (whistleblowing, union organizing, other...). But filing a lawsuit against a former employer is not protected activity and could hypothetically result in your termination from your current employer.

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  • Is there a labor law that says how long a company has to investigate or find validity to hold one on suspension in Washington?

    I was unfairly arrested and detained causing me to have my husband call my employer and let them know I wouldn't be in.I went to court the following day and was exonerated.I immediately called my employer and they told me that I was suspended pend...

    Daniel’s Answer

    Your union rep should be able to resolve this for you and unless your contract provides otherwise, you will probably get most or all of your back pay. I would call the union rep and ask what the status of your case is. If the union rep bugs the employer, they will process your case faster than if you remain quiet. This is one of those "squeaky wheel gets the grease" situations. Your union and your employer are both probably busy with very full plates. Make sure your case stays on the front burner and you'll probably be fine.

    Given your location in Sequim, and the unreasonably long suspension pending investigation situation you are in, I am going to venture to guess that you might be a correctional officer working for the DOC at Clallam Bay. If I am right, give me a call. I'm in-house counsel for Teamsters 117.

    Dan

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  • In Washington State can your employer force you, the serve, pay for a walk-out....dine and dash?

    Had a table with about 16 people and had 6 people leave without paying...so the rest of the table tried to pool money to covers there friends but were $80 short so the owners made me pay for it.

    Daniel’s Answer

    Were you the server? If the owners made you pay for the patrons who couldn't cover their tab, that is illegal. Did they take it out of your wages?

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  • Employement Contract and Employee Handbook Disclaimer Conflict

    I am an employee of a private school. The school each year offers us an employement contract that only allows for termination for "cause" during the school year. Theres is no obligation to renew the contract after each school year. They just de...

    Daniel’s Answer

    I would not sign the handbook without first crossing out and initialing the "at-will" language. I assume you are talking about contracts and handbooks for next year. I assume also that the employer is not going to give you a contract unless you sign the handbook first. It sounds to me like you need a union. The Washington Education Association represents public school teachers but not private school teachers. They may have some helpful information for you though and they do accept associate members from private schools.

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  • Two employee's have an argument(non-physical). Only one employee is disciplined (suspended). Is that legal?

    all witness say it was nothing more than a disagreement. One employee was Caucasian the other was a minority.

    Daniel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I agree that the only way the disparate treatment would be illegal would be if it was specifically because of the ethnicity issue. If the employees are represented by a union, the suspension can be challenged on the basis of unequal discipline regardless of any ethnicity based discrimination. Without a union, however, the employer generally has the right to be unfair.

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  • Can my employer retract a job offer after I already started working in that position?

    I work for the state of Washington in a classified permanent position. I was offered an exempt job and began working in the position offered, for one week. My employer then retracted the offer after receiving phone calls from people who didn't wan...

    Daniel’s Answer

    Many Washington State employees are unionized, even in supervisory positions, and if your position is union, you probably have certain rights worth exploring on this issue. Start with your business representative if you are in a union. If you are not represented, you are probably out of luck but the only way to know for sure is to check the terms of the original offer letter.

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  • Do I have to submit to pressure to sign a nondisclosure before getting final pay?

    I was recently terminated from a job and had an amicable settlement to a final pay concept and date. Then, two days later, I received by email a request to sign a very broad language and unending nondisclosure/non solicitation agreement that binds...

    Daniel’s Answer

    A little more info is needed to determine what exactly you mean by "amicable settlement to a final pay concept and date" However, if you've worked for compensation that has not yet been paid, you do not need to sign anything (and should not) to get paid what you are owed.

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  • What questions should i ask when interviewing a new employment attorney for my company?

    i'm getting ready to hire an employment attorney for various duties at my company. what questions should i ask prospective attorneys?

    Daniel’s Answer

    The questions will differ somewhat depending on whether you plan to hire an in-house employment attorney (in other words, an employee of your company) or outside counsel. You have unlimited access to individual questions on employment law issues from an in-house attorney. If you are hiring outside counsel, you will need to establish up front an agreement regarding fees for quick questions. Anything requiring research or drafting will likely be billed hourly, although flat fees are possible. But I would ask the attorney not to charge you for listening to occasional voicemails, reading quick emails or responding to questions that the attorney already knows the answer to. For example, if you ask the attorney (after you've already hired him/her) whether you can ignore a disabled employee's request for an accommodation, the attorney should not charge you for answering that question. The rest of the interview phase questions are the same for any employee or independent contractor. Ask about experience and check references.

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  • Who is liable for L and I claims if the company is an LLC

    I had a small espresso stand in Washington state, it was under an LLC and there are claims in L and I my question is who is liable the LLC or the owners, I have tried to work with L and I but have not had any luck they say I do not have enough p...

    Daniel’s Answer

    If it is a claim for unpaid wages, Washington law provides for personal liability from the owners of the company, regardless of the corporate structure. The simple answer to your question is that both the LLC and you personally could be liable. L&I wants the money for the workers and they don't care where it comes from. If the LLC is gone they will come after you.

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  • My former employer was called for a reference check and they said i never worked there

    can they do that?

    Daniel’s Answer

    I would look into this further. Make sure your previous employer remembers you and this was not intentional. If it was an intentional lie about your previous work history, you may have a case for defamation of character (either libel or slander depending on whether the lie is written or oral) against your previous employer. There are several other legal theories that might work, and are at least worth asserting, in a case against your previous employer. This is only assuming the employer knew you worked there and intentionally lied about that fact to inquiring parties. Hopefully it was just an accident.

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