Updated: June 8, 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.

Annual Report  |  Budget  |  Bylaws |  Year in Review

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Section Executive Committee Elections

The Section is conducting elections for open positions on the executive committee.

Voting is scheduled for June 6–19, 2022.

Candidate information, Open Positions, and Terms
For more information about the Section and its executive committee, please review the Section's bylaws. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by position.

At-Large Member (Public Sector Defense): one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.

Candidate: Sarah Mack | Candidate Materials

At-Large Member (General Labor or Employment Attorney): two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.

Candidate 1: Joanna Cleveland | Candidate Materials

Candidate 2: Zachariah Thal | Candidate Materials

Candidate 3: Lauren Parris Watts | Candidate Materials

At-Large Member (Defense): partial-year position ending Sept. 30, 2022.

Candidate: Lauren Parris Watts  | Candidate Materials

At-Large Member (Defense) (two positions open): three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2025.

Candidate 1: Matthew Kelly | Candidate Materials

Candidate 2: William Walsh | Candidate Materials

Candidate 3: Lauren Parris Watts  | Candidate Materials

At-Large Member (Plaintiff)three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2025.

Candidate 1: Colin McHugh | Candidate Materials

Candidate 2: Seth Rosenberg | Candidate Materials

Candidate 3: Zachariah Thal | Candidate Materials

At-Large Member (Neutral): three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2025.

Candidate: David Gaba | Candidate Materials

Questions? Contact 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.