Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1969 NO. 1 >

(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 1977 NO. 3 >

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 2006 NO. 3 >

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 2009 NO. 3 >

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.

AGO 2006 NO. 5 >

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 1978 NO. 7 >

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 1975 NO. 7 >

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 1975 NO. 9 >

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 1968 NO. 14 >

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 2006 NO. 14 >

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.