Forced Labor (Slavery) is still a thing in the United States, but hopefully not for long

  M ore than 150 years after slaves were freed in the U.S., voters in five states will soon decide whether to close loopholes that led to the proliferation of a different form of slavery — forced labor by people convicted of certain crimes. None of the proposals would force immediate changes inside the states’ prisons, though they could lead to legal challenges related to how they use prison labor, a lasting imprint of slavery’s legacy on the entire United States. The effort is part of  a national push  to amend the  13th Amendment  to the U.S. Constitution that banned enslavement or involuntary servitude except as a form of criminal punishment. That exception has long permitted the exploitation of labor by convicted felons. “The idea that you could ever finish the sentence ‘slavery’s okay when ... ' has to rip out your soul, and I think it’s what makes this a fight that ignores political lines and brings us together, because it feels so clear,” said Bianca Tylek, executive directo

May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Don't neglect your healing in your fight for justice.

       If you are someone who has suffered humiliation through discrimination or sexual harassment at work, you may need more than a path to justice, you may also need a path to healing. A way to reset your fight or flight neurological response which is likely working overtime in response to the trauma you suffered. It is not healthy to allow this system to remain revved up for extended periods of time. It can lead you to anxiety, depression, and exhaustion making reclaiming your life difficult even if you succeed in litigation.       Neglecting how workplace (or personal) trauma is effecting you while at the same time enduring the stressors of litigation is a recipe for failure - whether you win your lawsuit or not. Our civil legal system allows for little outside of the recovery of money damages. Likely the wrong-doer will not be fired, you definitely will not receive an apology or a glowing letter of recommendation admitting that every nasty thing your employer accused you of, prior

Women face more harassment in the workplace than men.

 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released data confirming what plaintiff's employment attorneys (and Human resources professionals) already knew: that not only is sexual harassment targeting women more prevalent in the workplace so are all forms of discrimination and harassment and retaliation. ( read the full EEOC report here ) Of the nearly 30,000 complaints filed between 2018 and 2021, 78.2% of complaints  of sexual harassment were reported by women, and women made of 62% of the 98,000 total harassments charges alleging any basis (e.g. race, national origin). Keep in mind the numbers are much more sobering as 87% of sexual harassment victims still do not report the sexual harassment they suffer in the workplace for fear of retaliation. This number is down only a few percentage points since 2016.      The numbers on the lack of reporting of sexual harassment was originally published in a 2016 EEOC report. Now updated to focus on charges alleging sexual hara

COVID-19 Does My Employer have to Accommodate my Religious Exemption to Vaccination?

Under Title VII it is best practice for, "an employer should proceed on the assumption that a request for  religious accommodation is based on sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances," the EEOC said in its updated guidance. "However, if an employer has an objective basis for questioning either the religious nature or the sincerity of a particular belief, the employer would be justified in making a limited factual inquiry and seeking additional supporting information." The EEOC added, "An employee who fails to cooperate with an employer's reasonable requests for verification of the sincerity or religious nature of a professed belief, practice or observance risks losing any subsequent claim that the employer improperly denied an accommodation." The EEOC has identified the following factors that might undermine the credibility of an employee's claim: The employee has acted inconsistently with the professed belief. However, the EEOC

Workers Silenced No More in Washington State discrimination Cases

      Washington state  became   the second in the nation to pass the  HB 1795 - 2021-22 also known as the   Silenced No More Act  on Thursday (March 3, 2022). The new bill bars employers in the state from using non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to prevent workers from talking about instances of illegal harassment - including sexual harassment - discrimination, retaliation, sexual assault and wage violations. Despite the fact that the law has been moving in this direction for some time,(they were already banned in cases against the government as agaisnt public policy) defendant corporations and defense attorneys treat NDAs as "standard" and insist on them in every case. Some will argue that this will make cases harder to settle. That the defense only settles to get the NDA. I do not think this is true, I believe these NDAs are an abusive tactic to punish Plaintiff's for coming forward, to keep the wrongdoing of company's quiet so they do not have to face the public sc

H.R.C. Beijing 1995 "Women's Rights are Human Rights"

On the this International Women's Day I honor the women who have been speaking truth to power all my life.      I was  a clueless youth when Hilary Clinton laid out the truth at the International Women's Conference in Beijing in 1995.   Watch the Speech  That quote, Women's Rights are Human Rights seemed like a "duh" moment, to my anti-establishment cynical younger self.  At the same time,  the chill that ran down my spine the first time I heard it also reminded me that it was a dangerous statement to proclaim publicly. That it was a politically dangerous thing to say. Proclaiming women as equal, and demanding our equal treatment, has always been risky business and it remains risky today. So many of the atrocities she catalogues are still very much entrenched in all of our global communities. I have to run but I will try to add to this post later today.... Stay strong. Nicole 
Other Services Available from this Seattle Washington Law Firm  Personal Injury cases - If you have suffered by the negligence of others you may need to bring an action to protect your rights. Harms may occur because of car and truck crashes, car and bicycle collisions, dog bites or attacks, trip and falls in public places, private businesses or even at your workplace if your employer is self-insured. Interpersonal Violence - If you were the victim of an unprovoked physical attack or a sexual assault you may be able to bring a civil action to recover damages.  Dependency Defense -