Updated: June 25, 2020

Labor and Employment Law Section

Welcome 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 go to the Join a Section page.

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Congratulations, Incoming Executive Committee Members!

 

Below are the results of the Labor and Employment Law Section Executive Committee election. Thank you for voting!

For more information about the Section and its Executive Committee roles, please review the Section's bylaws. Winners are listed alphabetically by position.

At-Large Member (plaintiff): one position open; three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2020, and ending Sept. 30, 2023

Cassandra Webster Lenning

At-Large Member (defense): one position open; three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2020, and ending Sept. 30, 2023

Amy Mensik

At-Large Member (labor union): two positions open; three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2020, and ending Sept. 30, 2023

Elyse Maffeo

Jacob Metzger

Questions?

Contact sections@wsba.org


Past Events

19th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference

Nov. 14, 2019, Seattle
This CLE featured lively and informative panels, including an ethics presentation geared toward labor and employment practitioners. Also featured is a panel on weaving together the changing legal landscape on family and medical leaves. Don’t miss the update on strategies for handling changes to Washington’s non-compete laws. We round out the program with a nuts and bolts on formulating settlement agreements and dealing with union counsel. Available on demand as a whole or by individual sessions. 

18th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference

Nov. 30, 2018, Seattle
This program provided 7 CLE credits, including 1.0 hour
of ethics. Get updates on the issues of most concern to labor and employment law practitioners presented by panels of leading practitioners. Available on demand as a whole or by individual sessions. 

Advising Unions and Employers on Washington's Sick Leave Law Mini-CLE 

Feb. 8, 2018, Seattle
This one-hour CLE discussed practical guidance on implementing sick leave policies, negotiating with unions on changes to policies and rules, common mistakes made by employers and unions on implementing changes, and the remedies and ramifications for non-compliance.

Annual Meeting and 17th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference

Dec. 1, 2017, at the Washington State Convention Center
The section sponsored this CLE, tailored to the needs of Washington attorneys to learn about the most relevant and current issues in labor and employment law. Some materials presented at the seminar are linked below.

Observations and Recent Appellate Developments in Washington State Employment Law by Kelby Fletcher

Recent Developments in Federal Employment Law by Jillian Barron

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

June 15, 2017, at Stokes Lawrence in Seattle
The section sponsored this CLE that 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 one Law and Legal Procedure CLE credit for Washington attorneys. A reception followed the CLE.

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

June 15, 2017, at Stokes Lawrence in 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 one Law and Legal Procedure CLE credit for Washington attorneys. A reception will followed the CLE.

2016 Section CLE: Another Record-Breaking Success

Nov. 18, 2016, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle
This successful day-long 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 (one 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.


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.

The section awards $5,000 per student, and each of the three schools contribute additional funds.

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 2020 Grantees

Abigail Aldridge

Abigail is a 2021 J.D. candidate at the University of Washington School of Law.  She works at the school’s Workers’ Rights Clinic and has served in the military.  This summer, she will work at the Department of Labor and Industries at the Washington Attorney General’s Office in Seattle in the Employment Standards Program.

Peggy Rodriguez

Peggy is a 2021 J.D. candidate at Seattle University School of Law.  She spent last summer working at the Labor and Industries division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office in the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) section.  She will be returning to the Department of Labor and Industries this summer to continue her education and training in the field.

Justine Yarrington

Justine is a 2022 J.D. candidate at Gonzaga School of Law.  She volunteers while in law school with the Juvenile Record Sealing Project and as a teacher with Street Law.  This summer, she will work at the Unemployment Law Project, a non-profit civil legal aid organization that advises and represents WA State workers who are denied unemployment benefits.


Executive Committee

ChairTina Aiken (defense)

Secretary: Kelli Schmidt (neutral)

Treasurer: Mariya Khilyuk (defense)

Immediate Past Chair: Bradley Medlin (labor union)

Young Lawyer LiaisonSarah Burke*

Board of Governors Liaison: Bryn Peterson*

Members
Leslie Hagin (plaintiff) 2018-2020
Shannon Lawless (defense) 2018-2020
Amy Lowen (public sector) 2018-2020
Elyse Maffeo (labor union) 2018-2020
Jacob Metzger (labor union) 2018-2020
Jillian Cutler (plaintiff) 2018-2021
Angela Hayes (defense) 2018-2021
Sarah Morehead (public sector) 2018-2021
Bradley Medlin (labor union) 2018-2021
Chiedza Nziramasanga (plaintiff) 2019-2022
Mariya Khilyuk (defense) 2019-2022
Tina Aiken (defense) 2019-2022
Kelli Schmidt (neutral) 2019-2022

*Non-voting member

Meetings

The Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section conducts meetings monthly. Except where otherwise noted, meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 9 a.m. in the WSBA offices, 1325 Fourth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle.  Attendance by phone takes place by dialing 866-577-9294 and entering the passcode 5016518#.  

Please contact committee members for all other details on their upcoming meeting dates and locations.


Join Our List Serve

To join the section list serve and for general questions, please send your email address and Bar number to sections@wsba.org.