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AGO Opinions with Topic: LABOR
AGO 2006 No. 14 >  June 19, 2006
STATE EMPLOYEES - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES - EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES - LABOR - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Circumstances in which a state employee may exercise a right of non-association with a labor union 1. State employees may exercise their right of nonassociation with a labor union under RCW 41.80.100(2) based upon strongly held private religious objections to union membership, even if the objections are not based on the teachings of an established church or religious body. If there is a dispute between an employee and a union concerning the exercise of the right of nonassociation under RCW 41.80.100(2), the matter is resolved by the Public Employment Relations Commission. 3.State employees are not required to use a payroll deduction system to pay the union fees and dues set forth in RCW 41.80.100, but they may pay separately by personal check or other method so long as they make timely payments in the correct amount.
AGO 2006 No. 5 >  February 10, 2006
SCHOOL DISTRICTS - EDUCATION - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING - LABOR
Status of “independent professional educators’ associations” as “employee organization” for collective bargaining purposes An “independent professional educators’ association” which defines itself as not engaging in bargaining on behalf of educational employees concerning wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment is not an “employee organization” as set forth in RCW 41.59.020(1).
AGO 2006 No. 3 >  January 31, 2006
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES - PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT - SCHOOL DISTRICTS - STRIKES - LABOR - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Right of teachers and other employees to strike 1. State and local public employees, including teachers, have no legally protected right to strike. 2. State statute establishes no specific penalties for unlawful public employee strikes; in some cases, courts may grant injunctive relief to prevent or end unlawful strikes. 3. The Legislature could enact laws establishing penalties for unlawful public employee strikes, provided that such laws are consistent with protected free speech and other state and federal constitutional rights.
AGO 1962 No. 106 >  March 30, 1962
LABOR - 1961 MINIMUM WAGE AND HOUR ACT - EMPLOYEES OF NONPROFIT AGRICULTURE FAIR ASSOCIATION
LABOR ‑- 1961 MINIMUM WAGE AND HOUR ACT ‑- EMPLOYEES OF NONPROFIT AGRICULTURE FAIR ASSOCIATION Persons employed by a nonprofit agriculture fair association authorized and conducted pursuant to chapter 61, Laws of 1961, are not exempt from coverage of the 1961 minimum wage and hour act.
AGO 1974 No. 18 >  August 15, 1974
LABOR - MINIMUM WAGE - HOTELS - RESTAURANTS - MINIMUM WAGE FOR HOTEL AND RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES
LABOR ‑- MINIMUM WAGE ‑- HOTELS ‑- RESTAURANTS ‑- MINIMUM WAGE FOR HOTEL AND RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES In the case of a hotel or restaurant that is subject to both the Washington minimum wage act and the federal fair labor standards act, that hotel or restaurant, as an employer, is required to pay its eligible employees at least the $1.80 per hour minimum wage now required by RCW 49.46.020 even though a lesser minimum hourly wage could be paid under the federal act because of the credits for tips, board and lodging that are allowed under that act.
AGO 1974 No. 19 >  September 18, 1974
LABOR - CITIES AND TOWNS - MUNICIPALITIES - COUNTIES - CONTRACTS - VALIDITY OF RETROACTIVE PAY PROVISION IN INITIAL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT UNDER CHAPTER 41.56 RCW
LABOR ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- MUNICIPALITIES ‑- COUNTIES ‑- CONTRACTS ‑- VALIDITY OF RETROACTIVE PAY PROVISION IN INITIAL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT UNDER CHAPTER 41.56 RCW An initial collective bargaining agreement executed under chapter 41.56 RCW between a county, municipality or political subdivision and the bargaining representative of its employees may contain a provision whereby the salary or wage rates therein agreed upon will be payable for services previously rendered, from and after a designated date prior to its execution, but only if there was in existence during that previous period some kind of agreement that the wages received for their work performed between the date of such agreement and the execution of the collective bargaining agreement are not to be considered to be their full compensation; and no such agreement or understanding can be found from the mere act of certification or recognition of a bargaining agent under RCW 41.56.080.
AGO 1975 No. 7 >  April 22, 1975
COMMUNITY COLLEGES - EMPLOYEES - LABOR - LEGALITY OF AGENCY SHOP CLAUSE COVERING COMMUNITY COLLEGE ACADEMIC EMPLOYEES
COMMUNITY COLLEGES ‑- EMPLOYEES ‑- LABOR ‑- LEGALITY OF AGENCY SHOP CLAUSE COVERING COMMUNITY COLLEGE ACADEMIC EMPLOYEES The board of trustees of a community college district may not legally include what is commonly referred to as an "agency shop" clause in a negotiated agreement entered into between such board and the faculty employees of the district under the provisions of chapter 28B.52 RCW for the reason that such a clause is prohibited by RCW 28B.52.070.
AGO 1962 No. 148 >  July 26, 1962
LABOR - FEMALE AND CHILD LABOR LAW - EXEMPTION OF AGRICULTURAL LABOR
LABOR ‑- FEMALE AND CHILD LABOR LAW ‑- EXEMPTION OF AGRICULTURAL LABOR The reference to RCW 50.04.150 in the female and child labor law (chapter 49.12 RCW) adopts the statute as it existed on the effective date of its adoption but does not incorporate subsequent amendments.
AGO 1962 No. 150 >  July 30, 1962
LABOR - 1961 MINIMUM WAGE AND HOUR ACT - EXEMPTIONS - AGRICULTURAL EMPLOYEES
LABOR ‑- 1961 MINIMUM WAGE AND HOUR ACT ‑- EXEMPTIONS ‑- AGRICULTURAL EMPLOYEES Individuals employed on a farm in the employment of any person, partnership, association, corporation or other organization in connection with cultivation of the soil are exempt from the provisions of the 1961 minimum wage and hour act.
AGO 1975 No. 9 >  May 1, 1975
LABOR - CONTRACTS - PUBLIC WORKS - STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING WAGE - FRINGE BENEFITS
LABOR ‑- CONTRACTS ‑- PUBLIC WORKS ‑- STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING WAGE ‑- FRINGE BENEFITS The requirement of chapter 39.12 RCW that the "prevailing rate of wage" be paid to laborers, workmen or mechanics upon all public works of the state, or any county, municipality, or political subdivision, does not necessitate that such persons employed subject to its provisions be provided with actual "bona fide fringe benefit programs" so long as wages are paid in an amount which includes the prevailing costs of such programs as are identified in RCW 39.12.010.
AGO 1962 No. 168 >  September 24, 1962
LABOR - WAGES - PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT - APPRENTICESHIP AGREEMENT - REGISTRATION OF AGREEMENT
LABOR ‑- WAGES ‑- PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT ‑- APPRENTICESHIP AGREEMENT ‑- REGISTRATION OF AGREEMENT (1) An apprentice employed on a public works project may be compensated at the prevailing hourly rate of apprentices in that locality if there is a valid apprenticeship agreement in existence. (2) An apprenticeship agreement may be filed with the Washington state apprenticeship council by employers voluntarily electing to come under the apprenticeship laws (RCW 49.04.070) but registration of such agreements is not required. (3) Under rules and regulations promulgated by the secretary of labor an apprenticeship agreement must be filed with the state of Washington apprenticeship council if an employer in the state of Washington is to gain an exemption from the "Davis-Bacon Act" and the "Walsh-Healy Act."
AGO 1975 No. 20 >  September 5, 1975
LABOR - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES - GOVERNOR - VETO - EFFECT OF PARTIAL VETO OF CHAPTERS 288 AND 296, LAWS OF 1975, 1ST EX. SESS. UPON REMAINING PROVISIONS
LABOR ‑- COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ‑- PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ‑- GOVERNOR ‑- VETO ‑- EFFECT OF PARTIAL VETO OF CHAPTERS 288 and 296, LAWS OF 1975, 1st EX. SESS. UPON REMAINING PROVISIONS (1) Because the governor's veto of § 2 of Substitute Senate Bill No. 2408 (chapter 296, Laws of 1975, 1st Ex. Sess.), the public agencies now responsible for the performance of the functions thereby proposed by this act to be transferred to a new "public employment relations commission" will continue to perform those functions after September 8, 1975, in the absence of further legislative action.  (2) In view of the governor's veto of § 4 of Substitute Senate Bill No. 2500 (chapter 288, Laws of 1975, 1st Ex.Sess.), certificated school district employees will, in the absence of further legislative action, continue after January 1, 1976, to be governed by the provisions of the school employees' professional negotiations act (chapter 28A.72 RCW), notwithstanding the express repeal thereof by the 1975 act, except to the extent that such provisions of the new law as are unaffected by the veto are in conflict with the earlier law.  (3) Administration of the provisions of chapter 288, Laws of 1975, 1st Ex. Sess., and chapter 296, Laws of 1975, 1st Ex. Sess., following their respective effective dates, by a new state agency will be unnecessary unless the governor's vetoes of portions thereof are overridden by the legislature or the vetoed sections are reenacted in a different form.
AGO 1977 No. 3 >  January 11, 1977
HOLIDAYS - LABOR - STATE AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES - PAID HOLIDAYS UNDER CHAPTER 24, LAWS OF 1975-1976, 2ND EX. SESS
HOLIDAYS ‑- LABOR ‑- STATE AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES ‑- PAID HOLIDAYS UNDER CHAPTER 24, LAWS OF 1975-1976, 2ND EX. SESS In view of § 1, chapter 24, Laws of 1975-1976, 2nd Ex. Sess., all employees of the state and its political subdivisions are now entitled to such paid holidays, whether concurrent with legal holidays or otherwise, as are lawfully provided for by their employment contracts or their employer's equivalent compensation policies and, in addition, they are entitled to one "floating" paid holiday each year, irrespective of whether or not it is provided for in their particular employment contracts; in the case of school teachers covered by RCW 28A.02.061, as amended by § 2 of chapter 24, supra , those employees are also statutorily entitled to be paid for any school holidays, as enumerated therein, which correspond with what would otherwise be a normal school day.
AGO 1978 No. 7 >  March 9, 1978
HOLIDAYS - LABOR - MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES - PAID HOLIDAYS UNDER RCW 1.16.050 AS AMENDED
HOLIDAYS ‑- LABOR ‑- MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES ‑- PAID HOLIDAYS UNDER RCW 1.16.050 AS AMENDED Under the provisions of RCW 1.16.050, as amended by § 1, chapter 111, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., the employees of a political subdivision remain entitled to one paid "floating" holiday per year but only in the absence of either an employment contract or a local ordinance or resolution which either expressly or impliedly excludes such a holiday.
AGO 1967 No. 15 >  May 2, 1967
LABOR - CONTRACTS - PUBLIC WORKS - APPLICATION OF PREVAILING WAGE LAW TO PREFABRICATION - STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING PREVAILING WAGE
LABOR - CONTRACTS - PUBLIC WORKS - APPLICATION OF PREVAILING WAGE LAW TO PREFABRICATION - STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING PREVAILING WAGE (1) The requirement of chapter 39.12 RCW that "the prevailing rate of wage" be paid to laborers, workmen or mechanics upon all public works of the state, or any county, municipality or political subdivision, is applicable to labor performed in off-the job site prefabrication by employees of the prime contractor, subcontractors, or other persons doing or contracting to do the whole or any part of the work contemplated by the contract -provided that the prefabricated "item or member" is produced specially for the particular public works project and not merely as a standard item for sale on the general market. (2) All determinations of the prevailing rate of wage shall be made by the industrial statistician of the department of labor and industries. (3) The standards to be used in determining the prevailing rate of wage are set forth in full in RCW 39.12.010.
AGO 1968 No. 14 >  March 26, 1968
INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE - LABOR - MASTER AND SERVANT - USE OF INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE CATASTROPHE FUND
INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE - LABOR - MASTER AND SERVANT - USE OF INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE CATASTROPHE FUND RCW 51.16.130, relating to the distribution of catastrophe costs under the industrial insurance act, is applicable so as to reduce the charges to the class accounts of an employer which are required by RCW 51.16.020, in the case of an industrial accident in which three or more employees of a single employer are fatally or otherwise injured as specified therein, irrespective of whether the same three or more employees were also engaged in a single class of employment.
AGO 1968 No. 20 >  May 16, 1968
LABOR - OFFSET AGAINST EMPLOYEES' WAGES - ASSIGNMENTS OF FUTURE WAGES
LABOR - OFFSET AGAINST EMPLOYEES' WAGES - ASSIGNMENTS OF FUTURE WAGES (1) A written agreement between an employer and employee under which the employer is entitled to deduct sums of money from the employee's wages due or to become due for the purpose of obtaining payment of amounts owed by the employee in connection with credit previously advanced by the employer to the employee, does not violate the provisions of RCW 49.52.050, relating to unlawful wage rebates. (2) RCW 49.48.090 relating to the filing of wage assignments or orders with the county auditor does not apply to such a written agreement. (3) RCW 49.48.100 requiring a wife's written consent for wage assignments or orders is applicable to such an agreement where the employee is a married man.
AGO 1969 No. 1 >  January 14, 1969
INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE - LABOR - COMPUTATION OF EMPLOYER PREMIUM PAYMENTS - PENSION CLAIMS
INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE - LABOR - COMPUTATION OF EMPLOYER PREMIUM PAYMENTS - PENSION CLAIMS (1) When computing the "average cost of pension claims," under RCW 51.16.020, for the purpose of determining the premium charges to employers under the state industrial insurance act, it is legally permissible for the department of labor and industries to use a five year averaging period in the absence of any statutory provision to the contrary. (2) It is not legally permissible for the department of labor and industries to include fatalities of unmarried workmen who leave no surviving beneficiaries or dependents in computing the "average cost of pension claims" under RCW 51.16.020, since such cases do not involve "pension claims" within the meaning of the industrial insurance act.
AGO 1959 No. 40 >  May 27, 1959
LABOR - COVERAGE OF MINIMUM WAGE AND HOUR ACT AS APPLICABLE TO REGULAR RATE RATHER THAN MINIMUM RATE
LABOR - COVERAGE OF MINIMUM WAGE AND HOUR ACT AS APPLICABLE TO REGULAR RATE RATHER THAN MINIMUM RATE The Washington Minimum Wage and Hour Act requires an employer covered by the act to pay his employees who work longer than eight hours a day or forty hours a week overtime at the rate of at least one and one half times their regular rate per hour even though said regular rate is in excess of the minimum rate established by the act.
AGO 1959 No. 41 >  May 27, 1959
LABOR - DEFINITION OF "EMPLOYEE" WITHIN THE WASHINGTON MINIMUM WAGE AND HOUR ACT AS APPLIED TO COUNTIES
LABOR - DEFINITION OF 'EMPLOYEE' WITHIN THE WASHINGTON MINIMUM WAGE AND HOUR ACT AS APPLIED TO COUNTIES The Washington minimum wage and hour act is applicable to and covers county employees.
AGO 1951 No. 175 >  November 26, 1951
LABOR - OFFSET AGAINST EMPLOYEE'S WAGES
LABOR ‑- OFFSET AGAINST EMPLOYEE'S WAGES Rem. Supp. 1947, § 7594, would not prohibit an employer from withholding a sufficient sum from the wages of an employee to offset his claim against the employee for credit advanced the employee during his employment.
AGO 1951 No. 112 >  August 28, 1951
LABOR - WOMEN - OVERTIME PAY FOR WORKING IN EXCESS OF 8 HOURS
LABOR ‑- WOMEN ‑- OVERTIME PAY FOR WORKING IN EXCESS OF 8 HOURS

Director of Labor and Industries is limited in taking of assignments of wage claims.Wage claims for overtime for women working in excess of 8 hours a day invalid.

AGLO 1981 No. 25 >  September 1, 1981
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - WASHINGTON STATE FERRY SYSTEM - LABOR - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
RIGHTS OF FERRY SYSTEM EMPLOYEES The provisions of chapter 344, Laws of 1981, do not violate the requirements of 49 U.S.C. § 1609(C) or of "§ 13(C) agreements" signed in compliance therewith by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
AGLO 1977 No. 39 >  September 21, 1977
DISTRICTS - EDUCATIONAL SERVICE DISTRICTS - LABOR - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
APPLICABILITY OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ACT TO EMPLOYEES OF AN EDUCATIONAL SERVICE DISTRICT An educational service district created pursuant to Chapter 28A.21 RCW is a political subdivision within the meaning of RCW 41.56.020, and therefore, the public employees collective bargaining act contained in Chapter 41.56 RCW is applicable to the employees of such a district.
AGLO 1976 No. 35 >  May 26, 1976
COMMUNITY COLLEGES - LABOR - APPRENTICESHIPS
ADMISSION TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE APPRENTICESHIP COURSES (1) A community college may not restrict enrollments in courses commonly known as "related apprenticeship training" solely to students who are "registered apprentices" pursuant to chapter 49.04 RCW and chapter 296-04 WAC. (2) A community college may not apply the tuition and fee schedule set forth in WAC 131-28-026(1) to students who are registered apprentices pursuant to chapter 49.04 RCW and chapter 296-04 WAC, but whose program of studies consists of graded courses taken for credit and selected from the regular college curriculum rather than those courses specifically designated as apprenticeship related training courses.
AGLO 1976 No. 48 >  August 3, 1976
LABOR - RAILROADS - EMPLOYEES
REQUIRING RAILROAD EMPLOYEES TO PURCHASE THEIR OWN UNIFORMS RCW 81.40.060 does not prohibit a railroad from requiring it employees to purchase their own uniforms; instead, the statute merely makes it unlawful for a railroad or other transportation company to require its employees to purchase uniforms from a particular vendor.
AGLO 1976 No. 58 >  September 22, 1976
LABOR - EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
COMPENSATING TIME IN LIEU OF OVERTIME Under RCW 49.46.130(1) an employer is not required to grant all employee requests for compensating time off in lieu of overtime pay; if, however, an employer denies any such requests it will then be obligated to pay for the overtime involved on a time and one‑half basis as required by the statute; the "time and one‑half" requirement of RCW 49.46.130(1), however, only pertains to overtime pay itself and not, in addition, to comp time requested by an employee and granted by an employer in its discretion instead.
AGLO 1976 No. 61 >  October 4, 1976
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES - EMPLOYEES - LABOR
EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING AGENT FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY FACULTY MEMBERS The board of regents of the University of Washington may not grant formal recognition to a single employee organization as exclusive bargaining agent for the faculty.
AGLO 1976 No. 63 >  October 15, 1976
PUBLIC WORKS - CONTRACTS - LABOR
OUT-OF-STATE PREFABRICATION Neither chapter 39.12 nor chapter 39.16 RCW are applicable to labor performed outside of the state of Washington under a public works contract with a state agency or political subdivision of the state of Washington.
AGLO 1975 No. 18 >  February 21, 1975
COMMUNITY COLLEGES - EMPLOYEES - LABOR - ELECTIONS
WEIGHTED VOTING IN SELECTION OF BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE A community college district may not adopt a regulation under which those academic employees working full time would each be allocated one full vote, those employed two-thirds of full time would be allotted two-thirds of a vote, and those employed less than two-thirds of full time would be allocated one‑third of a vote in the election of their recognized bargaining representative under chapter 28B.52 RCW.
AGLO 1975 No. 23 >  March 6, 1975
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - LEGISLATORS - STRIKES - LABOR
VIOLATION OF OATH OF OFFICE Extent to which a refusal by a state legislator to cross a picket line of striking state employees in order to attend a legislative session would constitute a violation of the legislator's oath of office.
AGLO 1975 No. 90 >  November 24, 1975
DISTRICTS - SCHOOLS - CONTRACTS - LABOR
LEGAL STATUS OF SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS (1) An employee organization which has obtained the right, under RCW 28A.72.030, to represent the certificated employees of a school district has the right to represent substitute certificated teachers employed by that school district as well. (2) Except to the extent that the records involved are required to be made under RCW 42.17.250, et seq., (Initiative No. 276), a school district is not required to provide an employee organization with the names and addresses of its substitute teachers.
AGLO 1973 No. 38 >  March 21, 1973
DISTRICTS - PUD - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING - LABOR
DISTRICTS ‑- PUD ‑- COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ‑- LABOR A public utility district under RCW 54.04.170 and 54.04.180 may engage in collective bargaining with its employees in regard to the manner in which any reduction in the district's work force is to be accomplished, but may only agree to procedures which are consistent with its statutory authority and governing constitutional limitations.
AGLO 1973 No. 56 >  May 23, 1973
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES - EMPLOYEES - LABOR - EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING AGENT FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY FACULTY MEMBERS
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ‑- EMPLOYEES ‑- LABOR ‑- EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING AGENT FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY FACULTY MEMBERS The governing body of a state college or university does not have the authority to grant formal recognition to a single employee organization as exclusive bargaining agent for the faculty.
AGLO 1974 No. 70 >  July 23, 1974
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - PERSONNEL BOARD - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING - CIVIL SERVICE - LABOR
AUTHORITY OF STATE PERSONNEL BOARD TO EXCLUDE SUPERVISORS The Washington State Personnel Board has the statutory authority under RCW 41.06.150 to promulgate rules defining and excluding "executive management," "supervisors" and "individuals regularly privy to confidential matters affecting the employer-employee relationship" from the right to bargain collectively with their appointing authorities, as it does currently under merit system rules 356-06-010 and 356-42-010(2).
AGO 2009 No. 3 >  July 22, 2009
LABOR - FEDERAL PREEMPTION
Whether the National Labor Relations Act would preempt the provision of a proposed bill regarding communications between employers and employees The National Labor Relations Act would preempt the provision of a proposed bill which would prohibit employers from requiring employees to attend certain meetings at which matters relating to “labor and other mutual aid organizations” are discussed.
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