Washington State Minimum Wage IncreaseThe Department of Labor & Industries announced that Washington’s minimum wage officially increased to $9.32 per hour, beginning on January 1, 2014. This is a 13-cent per hour increase and reflects the 1.455% increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 1998, Washington voters approved Initiative 688. This means that by law, the Department of Labor & Industries must use the CPI-W to calculate the state’s minimum wage every year.

What is the CPI-W? The CPI-W measures what urban wage earners and clerical workers averagely pay for basic living costs, such as food, clothing, shelter, and doctor. When these costs go up—so must the minimum wage. In fact, Washington is one of only 10 states that automatically adjust their minimum wage based on inflation and the CPI.

To date, Washington State has the highest minimum wage of any state in the country. All workers over the age of 15 in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs must be paid at least the minimum wage.

If you are one of the lucky hospitality workers in SeaTac outside of the Sea-Tac Airport, then your wages will increase even more in 2014. Starting January 1, 2014, all hospitality businesses with more than 100 rooms and 30 or more employees are required to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. Unfortunately, SeaTac airport employees, however, will not be getting the same raise. A judge recently ruled that those employees were not eligible for raises because the Port of Seattle operates the airport.

Contact Seattle Employee Rights Attorneys

If you believe that your rights have been compromised while on the job, an experienced Seattle employee rights attorney at Phillips Law Firm can help. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our employee rights attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7. We offer free case evaluations and a no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.

The employee rights lawyers at Phillips Law Firm have successfully represented employees in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue ,Everett, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Federal Way, Bellingham, Marysville, Lakewood, Redmond,  Shoreline and throughout the State of Washington. 


If you are expecting a baby, you may be worried about your career and what you will do once the baby arrives. Luckily, there are laws in place that protect your rights, allow you to stay home with your newborn, and safeguard your job. Female employees seeking maternity leave have more options than ever before and more rights than they realize. Employers who deny maternity leave or who violate the rights of their pregnant employees can be held liable for pregnancy discrimination.

Your Basic Maternity Rights Both Washington and Federal law allow pregnant women to take up to 12 weeks of paid or unpaid time off from work with employer-paid health benefits after the birth of a child. This leave is protected—meaning you cannot lose your job while you are on maternity leave.

This leave is a right—as long as you and your employer meet the requirements for the leave.

Eligibility for the Family Medical Leave Act and the Washington State Family Leave Act depends on a few factors:

  • You must be employed for at least 12 months, AND
  • You must have physically worked for 1,250 hours during the 12 month time, AND
  • Your employer must employ at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

If you meet these requirements, your employer must hold your position for at least 12 weeks, and must maintain insurance coverage for you and your family members during this time.

If you do not meet the requirements or your employer does not meet the requirements, there may be other options available to you. Maternity leave is a complicated legal area of law and requires the expertise of a skilled Seattle employee rights’ law firm.

Washington employees must also agree to give pregnant women disability leave for pregnancy-related medical conditions, such as severe morning sickness, preeclampsia, bed-rest, and childbirth. No matter how much time she needs off from work, Washington employers should bring the woman back once her medical provider releases her and grants her a clearance to resume working. The pregnant woman and her physician decide when she is excused from work for medical related conditions—not the employer.

Choose a Law Firm Dedicated to Protecting Women’s Rights

Maternity leave is an important time for mothers and their newborn babies. During this time, your body is still healing from the delivery and you are adjusting to life with a new baby. Breast-feeding, doctor visits, and cesarean incisions are just some of the reasons why Washington lawmakers have fought so hard to afford women the right to maternity leave. In addition, this is a critical bonding time for babies and their mothers.

Sadly, many employers attempt to deny pregnant employees their full maternity leave in an attempt to save money and record higher profits. They may even harass or bully pregnant women into thinking they need to return early or risk losing their positions. Some companies even go so far as to fire pregnant women in lieu of paying them maternity leave that is rightfully theirs.

This is against the law—and the Seattle employee discrimination lawyers at Phillips Law Firm will fight aggressively to ensure that you receive all of the maternity leave to which you are entitled.

Call us today for a free consultation and review of your case at  1-800-708-6000.


A federal judge in California, recently found Abercrombie & Fitch in violation of equal- employment laws when it fired a Muslim employee for wearing a religious headscarf. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 19 year-old Umme-Hani Khan, was fired from the chain’s Hollister store in San Mateo, California in February 2010, for refusing to remove her hijab.

Ms. Kahn worked primarily in the company’s stockroom from October 2009 until her dismissal, and complied with her employer’s request to wear headscarves in Hollister colors. She was later told that the hijab violated the company’s dress code or “Look Policy.” Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Khan was clearly “terminated for non-compliance with the company’s Look Policy”, her only violation being the religious headscarf.

Abercrombie, which could not be reached for comment, has two other suits pending involving Muslim employees or applicants with headscarves, but maintains that its dress code is at the heart of its business model.

Damages and injunctive relief will be determined at a trial set for September 30. Under Title VII, religious discrimination is defined as treating an applicant or employee unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law prohibits treating someone differently because of his or her association with an individual of a particular religion, or because of his or her connection with a religious group or organization.

Although the law does not protect against teasing or offhand comments, it does forbid harassment based on a person’s religious beliefs. Harassment includes, any offensive remarks about a person’s religious beliefs or practices. Harassment is defined as being so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment or when it results in adverse employment actions where the victim is, for example, demoted or fired. The law forbids discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, training, promotions, layoffs and any other term or condition of employment. It also protects against workplace or job segregation based on religion.

Unless doing so would create more than a minimal burden on the operations of an employer’s business, the law requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious beliefs or practices. Reasonable accommodations include, flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions, job reassignments, and reasonable modifications to workplace policies and practices that allow an employee to practice his or her religion. An employer does not have to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices if doing so would infringe on other employee’s rights or cause an undue hardship on the business.

Employee rights are constantly in danger. If you or someone you love has experienced employee discrimination, wrongful termination, or any violation of their employee rights in Seattle, Bellevue, or anywhere in the State of Washington, call Phillips Law Firm at 1-800-708-6000. Our Washington employee rights lawyers are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.