Washington

Date: September 23, 2013 Last Edit: March 23, 2016

Becera v. Fred Meyer - Employment
Washington Supreme Court

Fred Meyer and Expert Janitorial are seeking review by the Washington Supreme Court in a case involving their contracts with third party janitorial firms for cleaning Fred Meyer stores. A handful of janitors sued their janitorial employers as well as Fred Meyer and Expert alleging minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest break violations. The Superior Court agreed, dismissing Fred Meyer and Expert. However, using a very complicated and novel legal analysis, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Fred Meyer and Expert were joint employers of the janitors because of the degree of supervision and control the court thought Fred Meyer and Expert had over the janitors' work.


Microsoft v. Baker – Legal Reform

U.S. Supreme Court

In this case plaintiffs sought to certify a class action; however, the District Court ruled that the class could not be certified under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The plaintiff then sought to appeal, but the Ninth Circuit would not take the case because the standard for granting review of an interlocutory judgement is quite stringent. Accordingly, plaintiffs sought to have the district court issue an order dismissing their case, which would allow them to present an appeal to the Ninth Circuit from the final order—which would not be viewed as an interlocutory appeal. The question presented in this case is whether this sort of procedure should be allowed to enable plaintiffs to seek appeal of a decision denying class action certification. NFIB Small Business Legal Center joined with the Washington Legal Foundation in arguing that the controversy became moot when plaintiffs sought to dismiss their own case.

 Status: PENDING. Amicus brief filed 3/18/16.


Walston v. Boeing – Labor
Washington Supreme Court

Washington law provides a form of immunity for employers for potential lawsuits stemming from workplace injuries. Under the state’s statutory regime, employees must pursue such claims through workers compensation insurance, and can only advance a lawsuit where the employer intentionally caused his or her injuries. But in this case, a former employee seeks to upset this long-settled understanding—arguing that he can advance an asbestos lawsuit because the employer knew that there was a chance that, when he was exposed to certain chemicals, the employee might have suffered injuries on the molecular level. NFIB Legal joined with other industry groups in rebuffing this theory—as it would open employers to a new round of asbestos lawsuits.

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If you have a case that impacts small business, please contact us at 1-800-552-NFIB as we are actively looking for opportunities to weigh in on important issues in this state. NFIB Small Business Legal Center is involved in many cases that impact this state and others; to see our complete list of Supreme Court cases click on Washington, DC on the interactive map.

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