October 19, 2015
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Tuesday, Nov. 3: Employment At-Will in Washington-Dead or Alive?

Employers need the flexibility to make personnel decisions to meet their business needs, but they also need to be aware of laws protecting employees from discrimination. How is your company prepared to address “at-will” employment? Karen Galipeau Forner, founder and managing member of K-Solutions Law in Bellevue, will lead a two-hour seminar to help employers understand “at-will” employment and learn best workplace practices to minimize discrimination claims.

She'll address questions such as: What’s the true definition of employment “at will” in Washington? What’s an employer’s duty to accommodate a disability?

"In this presentation we will explore what are considered adverse actions by employers and what employers can do to be proactive to limit liability," Galipeau Forner said. "What are employer defenses if discrimination or retaliation is alleged? What should your company do if a protected class or activity issue comes up and what should you do if a complaint is filed?"

Galipeau Forner represents employers in the areas of workers' compensation, workplace safety, administrative appeals and employment law. She is a frequent presenter at continuing legal education seminars and to employer groups. Prior to K-Solutions Law, Galipeau Forner worked representing employers as Senior Attorney at AMS LAW in Seattle for two and a half years. From 1993 to 2007 she worked at the Washington State Attorney General's Office.

The class will be held Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon. Learn more and register online.

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Export-Import Bank Critical to Washington's Economy

Ex-Im Bank Is an Easy Yes

By Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers

ProGauge Technologies, Inc., a manufacturing company based in Bakersfield, California, is bidding on a project that could lead to 30 new jobs, but only five are staying here in the United States. The rest will be created abroad.

It didn't have to be that way. ProGauge is one of countless manufacturers in the United States, large and small, losing out on foreign sales and international deals because of Congress' failure to stand up for American jobs. "It's pretty sad not to be able to keep the jobs here," said ProGauge president Don Nelson.

Earlier this year, Congress allowed the Export-Import Bank's charter to expire and has not yet acted to reauthorize it. The Ex-Im Bank has served for more than 80 years as the U.S. export credit agency, ensuring access to competitive export financing for manufacturers in the United States that private banks are unable to offer. Countries around the world have similar credit agencies, and without ours, it is harder for U.S.-based companies to sell their products, made by American workers, overseas.

Click here to read the full column in U.S. News & World Report
Ag Worth Billions to State

Needed: More Water for Everyone in Yakima Valley

By The News Tribune editorial board

Some of America's richest farmland lies just over the Cascade Mountains in the Yakima River Valley. It provides most of the nation's apples and hops, and pulls billions of dollars into the state economy.

It's also fragile, as this year's unprecedented drought demonstrated. The valley's reservoir system is roughly a century old; even in the best of years, it doesn't deliver enough water to go around. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell has introduced a measure that would bring the system into the 21st century; the Senate should pass it.

Her bill would put the U.S. government behind the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a combination of irrigation, reservoir and habitat improvements. The legislation is backed by an improbably broad coalition that includes farmers, environmentalists, the Yakama Indians, fishermen, Republican and Democratic leaders.

A lot of those people are normally in the habit of squabbling with each other. Their unanimity in this case reflects the fact that the Integrated Plan pretty much makes everyone happy.

Click here to read the full editorial in The News Tribune
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