Spokane Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance Passed by City Council

The Spokane City Council has passed the Fair Chance Hiring ordinance to effectively "ban the box" on job applications that asks applicants about criminal history. According to a City of Spokane press release, some positions are exempt from the ordinance: 

Under the new policy, applicants for positions that are not exempt will be given the opportunity to apply for work without the fear of a background check or application question regarding criminal history prior to an in-person or video interview or a conditional offer of employment. Exempted positions include those that have unsupervised access to minors and vulnerable persons, positions in law enforcement and employers and/or agencies that are expressly permitted or required under federal or state law to consider criminal background.

City Council to Consider Fair Chance hiring for Spokane Employers, 9 November 2017, available at https://my.spokanecity.org/news/releases/2017/11/09/city-council-to-consider-fair-chance-hiring-for-spokane-employers/. 


Washington State Paid Sick & Safe Leave - STARTED JANUARY 1, 2018!

Take a couple minutes to read up on the Paid Sick & Safe Leave to see how to implement and manage the new Washington Paid Sick and Safe Leave law. Updates on the rule and all relevant documents are posted to the “Document Library” of the I-1433 engagement site


Case Law Update

The "New" NLRB 

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has a new General Counsel, Peter Robb, and things are looking different than they did under the Obama Administration. Notably, the Board recently made some big changes to how it interprets handbook policies and the joint employer test. 

Bring Out Your Old Handbooks!

In Boeing Co. [pdf], the Board abandoned its 13-year-old “reasonably construe” test under Lutheran Heritage, and replaced it with the a new one:

In cases in which one or more facially neutral policies, rules, or handbook provisions are at issue that, when reasonably interpreted, would potentially interfere with Section 7 rights, the Board will evaluate two things: (i) the nature and extent of the potential impact on NLRA rights, and (ii) legitimate justifications associated with the requirement(s). …  
We emphasize that the Board will conduct this evaluation, consistent with the Board’s “duty to strike the proper balance between … asserted business justifications and the invasion of employee rights in light of the Act and its policy,” focusing on the perspective of employees.…


Joint Employer? Maybe Not. 

In Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd. [pdf], the NLRB expressly overturned the 2015 Browning-Ferris, decision, and returned to the previous joint employer standard:

[W]e overrule Browning-Ferris and restore the joint-employer standard that existed prior to the Browning-Ferris decision. Thus, a finding of joint-employer status requires proof that the alleged joint-employer entities have actually exercised joint control over essential employment terms (rather than merely having “reserved” the right to exercise control), the control must be “direct and immediate” (rather than indirect), and joint-employer status will not result from control that is “limited and routine.”

According to the NLRB, this decision is supported by common law and the "NLRA's policy of promoting stability and predictability in bargaining relationships."


Government Affairs Updates

SHRM Olympia has a succinct summary of certain key employment law proposals in Washington State, as well as other case law that may affect human resource management in Washington State.

If you would like to reach out to your local Legislator on a current, pending, or proposed bill or regulation, you can find them on the Washington State Legislature District Finder website. For federal issues, reach out to your State’s Representative or Senator.


Get Involved!

The best way to have your voice heard is to get involved locally.

  • Greater Spokane Incorporated is a business development organization that connects businesses, drives initiatives to improve the Spokane region, and advocates for businesses. You can learn more on GSI’s website.
  • Attending Spokane City Council meetings allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of our dynamic City. Meeting agenda and schedule are available on the City of Spokane’s website