Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1953 NO. 85 > Jul 10 1953

1. State institutions have no authority to embalm, bury, cremate or otherwise dispose of unclaimed bodies of deceased inmates. 2. The jurisdiction of unclaimed bodies of deceased inmates is vested in the coroner of the county in which the inmates died. 3. The primary responsibility for the payment of the funeral costs rests with the relatives of the decedent or his estate.  If they are not financially able the county must provide for the disposition of the remains, ultimately, the department of public assistance must pay the cost of burial of indigent persons irrespective of whether or not they have been recipients of public assistance. 4. A state institution must obtain authorization from the county coroner before the institutional medical staff can perform an autopsy on the unclaimed body of a deceased inmate.

AGO 1958 NO. 198 > Jun 5 1958

1.  The legislature has the power to prohibit or restrict the right of employees of private hospitals to strike if a substitute such as compulsory arbitration or mediation is provided to meet the requirement of due process.  2.  Employees of hospitals operated by the state, its political subdivisions or municipal corporations, absent express legislation to the contrary, do not have the right to strike.  3.  The legislature has the power to compel hospitals and hospital employees to submit their labor disputes to arbitration, the award of the arbitrators being binding on both parties, provided that sufficient standards are provided to govern the arbitrators in determining such disputes.

AGO 1954 NO. 289 > Jul 26 1954

The department of public institutions may use a position schedule or a public official blanket type fidelity bond for its employees.