April 15, 2019
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Webinar: Anti-Harassment Training in the #MeToo Era



In this era of #MeToo, no employer can afford to be lax in enforcing its commitment to anti-harassment. But how do you deal with the he-said, she-said scenarios? What is expected of employers in this era of heightened awareness of harassment? These are the questions we will address in this seminar, along with practical guidance for minimizing the risk of liability in your workplace.

The webinar will be held Wednesday, June 26, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. It will cover:

  • Legal obligations concerning harassment prevention and responses
  • Effective strategies for conducting workplace investigations
  • New guidance for limiting exposure to harassment liability

Presenter Selena Smith of Davis Grimm Payne has years of experience representing employers in labor and employment law matters, including with respect to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wage and hour compliance, FMLA, ADA, employee relations, and related matters. Smith also has extensive experience representing and advising employers in traditional labor law matters, including collective bargaining, unfair labor practice and representation proceedings, labor arbitrations, union organizing campaigns, and strike preparation.

Learn more and register online.



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Spring Meeting
State Funding


Lifting levy lid violates spirit of McCleary deal

By The Columbian Editorial Board

Efforts in the Legislature to remove a lid on local school levies represent a step backward for school funding in Washington. Rather than invite a return to inequitable funding and open the door for lawsuits, lawmakers should provide state funding where necessary and adhere to a hard-fought agreement.

Following the 2012 state Supreme Court ruling in McCleary v. Washington, lawmakers took five years to hammer out a compromise in which the state would fully fund public K-12 education. That compromise limited local levies to $1.50 per $1,000 in assessed property value or $1,500 per student, whichever is less.

That was the promise lawmakers gave to taxpayers in 2017 -- state property taxes would increase in order for the Legislature to live up to its "paramount duty" of funding basic education. In exchange, local levies would decrease. The adjustments would prevent inequalities between districts that were at the heart of the McCleary decision; local levies had been used to fund basic expenses such as teacher salaries, creating disparities between wealthy districts and poor districts.

Now, school districts want the Legislature to keep both state and local property taxes high. Senate Bill 5313 would allow districts to tax up to $2.50 per $1,000 in assessed value -- a 67 percent increase from the current law -- or $2,500 per student, depending on a district's enrollment.

Passage of such a plan would put the state on the road to McCleary 2.0. It would invite the return of an unfair funding system that triggered the lawsuit in the first place and that had the amenities of a public education determined by a student's ZIP code.

Read the full editorial in The Columbian
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