12 Jun

May 2020 Washington HR Legal Updates

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Hairstyle/Citizen Discrimination

What happened?
The state of Washington amended discrimination laws regarding hairstyle and citizenship discrimination.

What are the details?
Effective June 10, 2020, employers may not discriminate against applicants based on their hairstyles.

Effective March 18, 2020, employers may not discriminate against applicants based on whether they are a citizen of the United States.

What do employers need to do?
Ensure company policies align with non-discrimination laws and train supervisors and hiring managers on these new requirements.

https://ogletree.com/insights/washington-amends-its-law-against-discrimination-to-provide- protections-for-hair-textures-and-styles-as-traits-associated-with-race/; http://sdc.wastateleg.org/saldana/2020/03/18/governor-approves-prohibition-on-citizenship- immigration-status-discrimination/


Paid Family and Medical Leave Act Amendment

What happened?
On March 26, 2020, the governor signed amendments to the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA).

What are the details?
There are significant alterations to this law:

  • An employee has three years to bring a private right of action in court and class actions are permitted;
  • Supplemental benefits were defined as salary continuance and paid time off (such as vacation, personal, sick, compensatory, etc.);
  • An employee can satisfy the waiting period for benefits while being compensated under paid time off;
  • No waiting period for qualifying military exigencies;
  • Family members now include the employee’s spouse; and
  • If an employee is awarded PFMLA, the employee may still be eligible for workers compensation (except for total disability).

What do employers need to do?
Review current policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the above regulations.

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/washington-amends-its-paid-family-and-medical-leave- act#:~:text=The%20WPFMLA%20now%20includes%20a,limitations%20period%20is%20three%20years.


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