Labor and Employment Law Section

employment contractWelcome to the Washington State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, one of the larger sections of the Bar with more than 1,000 members. The section includes members practicing many different aspects of labor and employment law, including lawyers representing private- and public-sector employers, unions, management, and individual employees as well as law professors, arbitrators, and other neutrals. Section members practice throughout the state. Lawyers interested in joining the section can read additional information.


East of the Mountains Mini-CLE and Networking Event "Religious Accommodation in the Workplace: New and Emerging Topics."

Click here to register now.

Attendees will first hear different perspectives on religious accommodation and anti-discrimination from George Ahrend, a religious freedom advocate, and Colleen Melody, lead attorney at the Civil Rights Unit of the attorney general’s office. Mr. Ahrend and Ms. Melody were involved in the recent Washington Supreme Court case, Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers.
 
From the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington, we will welcome Judge Edward Shea and Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr., who will provide practical insights on effective advocacy in employment cases from the judicial perspective.

Approved for 2.0 Law & Legal Procedure CLE credits for Washington attorneys.

Where: Historic Davenport Hotel (Marie Antoinette ballroom), 10 S. Post St., Spokane, Washington
When: Sept. 28, 2017
Registration: 2:30 p.m.
Program: 3–5 p.m.
Post Seminar Social: 5–7 p.m.

Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to learn and network with your colleagues and judges from the Eastern District of Washington!  There will also be a free, hosted reception and networking event with appetizers and beverages after the Mini-CLE seminar.   
 
Note:  While this event is free, the space is limited. Only those who have preregistered through the WSBA registration link will be able to attend. Registration will be open soon.
 


SAVE THE DATE: Annual Meeting and 17th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle (and via webcast). This CLE, tailored to the needs of Washington attorneys, is a unique opportunity to learn about the most relevant and current issues in labor and employment law. Last year, this dynamic program earned 5.75 general and 1 ethics CLE credit. Watch this website for details: we have already begun to plan!


Avoiding Litigating Duty of Fair Representation Claims: Plaintiff, Union, and Management Perspectives CLE

Thursday, June 15, 2017, at Stokes Lawrence, 1420 Fifth Ave., Suite 3000, Seattle

This CLE provided plaintiff, union, and management attorney perspectives on responding to the duty of fair representation claims. CLE attendees left with an understanding  of fair representation and how to resolve, mitigate, and/or successfully prosecute such an action. Approved for 1 Law and Legal Procedure CLE credit for Washington attorneys. A reception will followed the CLE.


2016 Section CLE: Another Record-Breaking Success

The Labor & Employment Law Section held its annual day-long CLE Nov. 18, 2016, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The successful event drew rave reviews from attendees. This continues the section's multiyear streak of high attendance. Nearly half of the attendees participated via live webcast, demonstrating that the section's high-quality CLE is accessible to attorneys across the state. Thank you for your support.


2016 East of the Mountains Fall Mini-CLE

The Labor and Employment Section’s third East of the Mountains Mini-CLE and social event was quite a success; for the first time, the event was held in Yakima. For the convenience of many attendees, the section-hosted CLE and reception that followed was scheduled the evening before the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Washington, conference in Yakima. About 75 people registered for the event.


2016 Ethics Mini-CLE: Capacity Crowd at CLE & Reception

The section hosted a new event this year, and the free CLE program and reception SOLD OUT! On March 9, 2016, more than 100 labor and employment lawyers attended our ethics mini-CLE (1 Ethics CLE credit): Avoiding Ethics Pitfalls in Labor and Employment Arbitration presented by noted legal ethics expert, John Strait of Seattle University School of Law.

Labor and employment advocates and lawyer-arbitrators (who were attending a National Academy of Arbitrators session preceding the CLE) participated in the interactive session and afterward had the opportunity to socialize at the hosted reception, both at the WAC in Seattle.


WSBA Labor and Employment Law Section 2016-2017 Election Results

The votes are in! Thank you to all of the qualified candidates who ran for the four open executive committee positions. We would like to welcome Aviva Kamm, Jeanie Tolcacher, Shelly Shapiro, and Jamal Whitehead to the committee. Kamm and Tolcacher are filling the two defense counsel positions, and Whitehead occupies a plaintiff's counsel position. Shapiro returns to the committee in the neutral position.


WSBA Labor and Employment Law Section Summer Grant for Law Students

Each year, the WSBA Labor and Employment Law Section is proud to partner with Washington’s three law schools to provide student grants funding summer work in labor and employment positions at nonprofits and public sector entities around the state. The WSBA grant is awarded annually to one student from each law school through a competitive selection process administered by each of the schools.  

In years past, the WSBA L&E Section has awarded $3,000 to each student grantee. For the summer of 2017, the section is thrilled to announce it will be able to increase its share of the grant award to $5,000 per student.

Each November, the WSBA L&E Section is also happy to host each of the grant-winning students at its annual labor and employment law CLE in Seattle, where they can mix and mingle with section members at the CLE’s luncheon.

Meet the 2016 WSBA L&E Grantees

Anni Glogovac
Glogovac is a 2017 J.D. candidate at Gonzaga University School of Law. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno. In her grant application, Glogovac shared that her interest in labor and employment law was fostered at a young age by listening to the stories of her great-grandparents’ involvement in union work during the 1930s and 1940s. Glogovac’s summer grant enabled her to continue working for the labor and industries division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General in Spokane.

Elliott Okantey
Okantey is a 2018 J.D. candidate at the University of Washington School of Law. He is a graduate of Whitman College. He began his law school career with the goal of working in the labor and employment field, spurred in part by first-hand observation of the vital role labor and employment law plays in the workplace. His grant award allowed him to spend the summer working in the labor and employment section of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.

Jennifer Schell
Schell is a 2017 J.D. candidate at Seattle University School of Law, and a graduate of Lewis and Clark College. She is a former immigration paralegal with a demonstrated interest in worker’s rights. Her law school record reflects a continued commitment to both public interest work and labor and employment issues. Schell’s summer grant gave her the opportunity to obtain valuable courtroom experience as a Rule 9 intern for the labor and industries division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General in Seattle.


2017 Executive Committee and Liaisons

Chair: James Shaker (defense counsel)

Chair-Elect: Vacant

Treasurer: Katie Rosen (defense counsel)

Secretary: Jillian Cutler (plaintiff counsel)

Immediate Past Chair: Leslie Hagin (plaintiff counsel)

Other Members: Laura Ewan (union counsel); Erica Shelley Nelson (union counsel); Grace O’Connor (public-sector counsel); Brad Medlin (union counsel); Sarah Morehead (public sector counsel); Aviva Kamm (defense counsel); Shelly Shapiro (neutral); Jeanie Tolcacher (defense counsel); Jamal Whitehead (plaintiff counsel)

Board of Governors Liaison: Angela Hayes (in-house counsel, associated industries)

Young Lawyer Liaison: Emily Arneson (defense counsel)



Resources for Members


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Contact the Section

Section members: To join the section list serve and for general questions, please send your email address and Bar number to sections@wsba.org. For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact the section Chair James Shaker.

Section 2016 Ethics Mini-CLE: Capacity Crowd at CLE & Reception

The Section hosted a new event this year, and the free CLE program and reception SOLD OUT! On March 9, 2016, more than 100 labor and employment lawyers attended our ethics mini-CLE (1 Ethics CLE credit):Avoiding Ethics Pitfalls in Labor and Employment Arbitration presented by noted legal ethics expert, Prof. John Strait of Seattle University School of Law.

Labor and Employment advocates and lawyer-arbitrators (who were attending a National Academy of Arbitrators session preceding the CLE) participated in the interactive session and afterward had the opportunity to socialize at the hosted reception, both at the WAC in Seattle.
 


Calendar of Events

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Section Administration

Bylaws, Annual Report, and Executive Committee

Labor and Employment Law Section Events Calendar

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