Updated: April 24, 2019

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

Annual Report  |  Budget  |  Bylaws  |  Year in Review



Executive Committee Elections Begin in May

For information about the Section and its Executive Committee roles, please review the Section's bylaws

The forthcoming ballot will contain one or more candidates for the following open positions:

  • At-Large Member (Plaintiff Counsel): three-year term ending Sept. 30, 2022
  • At-Large Member (Defense Counsel): two positions open with three-year terms ending Sept. 30, 2022
  • At-Large Member (Neutral): three-year term ending Sept. 30, 2022

Elections will be conducted via SurveyMonkey. To ensure you receive a ballot, please click here and/or adjust your spam filters/firewalls to ensure your email address will receive the ballot.

For questions, feel free to email sections@wsba.org.


Past Events

Annual CLE

Nov. 30, 2018

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, 1420 Fifth Ave., Suite 3000, 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, 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 one 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 (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.

In years past, the WSBA L&E Section has awarded $3,000 to each student grantee. For the summer of 2017, the section increased 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 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.


Executive Committee

Chair: Bradley Medlin (labor union)

SecretaryJillian Cutler (plaintiff)

TreasurerSarah Morehead (public sector)

Immediate Past Chair: Jim Shaker (defense)

Young Lawyer LiaisonSarah Burke*

Board of Governors Liaison: Dan Clark*

Members
Aviva Kamm (defense) 2017-2019
Shelly Shapiro (neutral) 2017-2019
Jeanie Tolcacher (defense) 2017-2019
Jamal Whitehead (plaintiff) 2017-2019
Leslie Hagin (plaintiff) 2018-2020
Shannon Lawless (defense) 2018-2020
Amy Lowen (public sector) 2018-2020
Jillian Cutler (plaintiff) 2018-2021
Angela Hayes (defense) 2018-2021
Sarah Morehead (public sector) 2018-2021
Bradley Medlin (labor union) 2018-2021
Elyse Maffeo (labor union) 2018-2020
Jacob Metzger (labor union) 2018-2020

*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.