Updated: April 27, 2022

Labor and Employment Law Section

The Labor and Employment Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association is one of the larger and fastest growing sections of the WSBA, mirroring the growth of the practice area. The Section includes members who practice 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.

The Section provides benefits to members by coordinating events that keep practitioners informed on the latest developments in employment law, which promotes competency and ethical practice in the Bar. The Section hosts an annual CLE and business meeting, and also funds a labor and employment law summer work internship for a student at each of the three law schools. Members of the Section also meet with law students throughout the year.

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Shape Your Section for the Future: Apply Today to Become a Section Leader

Applications open on March 14, 2022, and close at 5 p.m. April 22, 2022.

The following section executive committee positions are open for applications. All terms begin Oct. 1, 2022.

  • At-Large Member (Defense): partial-year position ending Sept. 30, 2022.
  • At-Large Member (Public Sector Defense): one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • At-Large Member (General Labor or Employment Attorney): two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • At-Large Member (Plaintiff): three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2025.
  • At-Large Member (Defense) (two positions open): three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2025.
  • At-Large Member (Neutral): three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2025.

To learn more about roles and expectations for serving on the section executive committee, review this volunteer position description, which provides a general overview of section executive committee positions—these may differ for each section.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be a current section member and should be eligible to vote in accordance with the section’s bylaws.

Application Process

Go to the myWSBA portal to complete the online application for open executive committee positions.

The Section has requested that each applicant submit a resume and statement of interest with your application. These documents can be uploaded with your online application (pdf format only). Please be advised that application materials may be posted on this website for public viewing.

Note: If you are applying for more than one position on this or multiple sections’ committees, you must complete and submit all applications at the same time, as you will not be allowed back into the portal at a later time. Please make sure you are completing the applications within the application window for all of the relevant sections.

Nomination Process

Nomination. The Chair or the executive committee shall annually appoint a nominating committee of not less than three members of the Section, including one member who is not currently an executive committee member. The nominating committee shall make and report nominations of the Section at the next executive committee meeting for the members of the executive committee to succeed those whose terms will expire at the close of the annual meeting, and to fill vacancies then existing for unexpired terms. The executive committee will also have an alternative process to allow for nominations to occur outside of the nomination committee process. It shall be the responsibility of the nomination committee to contact each member nominated and verify their willingness to accept the nomination. All applicants will apply through an electronic process administered by the Bar.

In selecting its nominees, the nomination committee shall bear in mind the need for broad representation on the executive committee, based on geography, diversity of practice, special expertise, and other factors of diversity. No person shall be nominated to serve more than two full terms consecutively. The executive committee will approve a list of nominees for each open position.

Alternate Nomination Process

All eligible applicants/nominees will be placed on ballot as candidates, even if not recommended by the section’s nominating committee.

Elections Process

All voting members of the section will receive an electronic ballot sent to their email in June 2022. Visit this webpage in early June for election updates and voting instructions.

Questions? 
For more information about the Section, its executive committee roles, and elections process, please review the Section’s bylaws. You may also contact any member of the current Section Executive Committee or email sections@wsba.org.

 


Past Events and On-Demand Products

Additional on-demand products are available and can be found in the CLE store

20th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference

Nov. 12, 2020, Seattle

This CLE features lively and informative panels, including the annual Employment Law Year in Review and an ethics presentation geared toward labor and employment practitioners in the Zoom era. This CLE also includes a panel on race, politics, and free speech in the workplace, a panel on updates on accommodations and workplace safety issues, a panel that weaves together the various employee benefits that may be accessed or impacted during COVID-19, and a panel on strikes, pickets, walk-outs, work refusals, and lock-outs. Available on demand as a whole or by individual sessions.

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, Seattle

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, 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, 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.


Executive Committee

Chair: Tina Aiken 

Secretary: Angela Hayes (2021-2022) 

TreasurerKelli Schmidt (2021-2022)

Immediate Past ChairBradley Medlin 

Young Lawyer LiaisonDevon Blevins (2021-2023)

Board of Governors Liaison*: Alec Stephens (2021-2022) 

 

*Nonvoting member

Members:
Chiedza Nziramasanga (plaintiff) 2019-2022
Tina Aiken (defense) 2019-2022

Kelli Schmidt (neutral) 2019-2022
Lauren Paris Watts (defense) 2019-2022
Elyse Maffeo (labor union) 2020-2023

Jacob Metzger (labor union) 2020-2023
Cassandra Webster Lenning (plaintiff) 2020-2023
Amy Mensik (defense) 2020-2023
Carson Phillips-Spotts (plaintiff) 2021-2024
Angela Hayes (defense) 2021-2024
Bradley Medlin (labor union) 2021-2024 

Meetings

The Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section conducts meetings monthly. Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 9 a.m., currently via video conference.

Monthly Zoom meeting link

Meeting ID: 846 1208 4823 Passcode: 953775

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.