Business

The Changing Future of Non-Compete Agreements in Washington, Part 2

We previously wrote about House Bills 2406 and 2931, which would significantly change the use of non-compete agreements in Washington. At the end of the session, both bills went to the House “X” file, which made it likely that neither would be passed this session. At the beginning of the Special Session both bills were reintroduced. However, the House adjourned the special session without taking further action.

The New Washington Limited Liability Company Act

On January 1, 2016, the new rules governing Washington State Limited Liability Companies (RCW 25.15; “the Act”) went into effect. The Washington legislature’s passed a major revision to the Act in an attempt to make LLC’s more flexible and user-friendly for businesses. The primary goal was to eliminate confusing portions of the Act and promote uniformity in the laws that apply to the state’s business entities. At Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC, we highly recommend that you learn these changes and revisit your operating agreement, as they may affect your LLC. Although there were numerous changes – a few highlights are discussed below.

The Changing Future of Non-Compete Agreements in Washington

In Washington, many employers use non-compete agreements to protect their businesses.  While Washington courts have always imposed limits on their validity, they are frequently enforced by the courts.  In Olympia, there are two bills currently under consideration that would impose further restrictions on the use of non-competes in Washington.

Seattle's 61% Minimum Wage - Now What?

On June 2, 2014, after great debate and protracted negotiations among various business and labor representatives throughout the City, the Seattle City Council made history by voting unanimously to pass Mayor Ed Murray’s $15 per hour minimum wage plan. The goal of the plan, according to the Mayor, is to “grow the middle class.”  This new minimum wage will eventually be a sixty one percent (61%) increase over the current state minimum wage of $9.32 per hour (already the highest state minimum wage in the United States), and is a dramatic wage escalation for those affected businesses.

Seattle's Paid Sick and Safety Time Requirements

Starting on September 1, 2012, employees of businesses operating in Seattle began accruing paid sick and paid safe time (PSST), defined as the “same hourly wage that the employee would have earned during the time PSST was taken.”  The new requirements apply to employers with more than four (4) full-time equivalent employees and cover all full and part-time employees, as well as temporary and occasional employees who work more than 240 hours in a calendar year. 

Interpretation of Indemnity Clauses

A February 2012 Washington State Supreme Court decision, Snohomish County Public Transportation Benefit Area Corp. v. First Group America, Inc., clarified how Washington courts are to interpret indemnification clauses. The facts of the case are interesting and the ruling provides a tie in to our daily work since indemnification clauses often arise in lease and purchase and sale negotiations.