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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for Personnel Policies

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To Support Employee Mental Health, Local Governments Think Creatively

Local governments are using out-of-the-box thinking to help employees feel safe, supported, and secure at work, but also to ensure that that their work is meaningful and thier efforts are recognized. 

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Smartphone on wooden table shows a whistleblower alert from an anonymous caller

Personnel Issues of Note from the 2023 Legislative Session

New state personnel laws establish protections for certain whistleblowers, amend the statutory definition of employment, modify procedures for reviewing and approving requests for partial wage replacement for unemployed workers, and update hospital staffing standards.

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A dog laying on the floor while several people are working in desks nearby

Pets in the Workplace — “Stay” or “Go to your Crate?”

Unlike the requirement to accommodate service animals (and sometimes support animals), local government agencies do not have to allow pets in the office. Some people love the idea, others loathe it. Whether you allow them or not, you should have a clear pet policy.

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Supreme Court Issues First Opinions on Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily stopped the implementation and enforcement of a federal rule calling for large U.S. employers to require employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. Following the decision, OSHA withdrew the proposed rule.

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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements in the Local Government Workplace

This blog post looks at the legal authority for government employers to require employees to be vaccinated, as well as the main issues to consider before establishing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination program.

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An Overview of New Personnel-Related Bills Adopted in the 2021 Regular Legislative Session

This blog provides an overview of leave-related bills as well as a new state holiday passed during the 2021 regular legislative session. 

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Troublesome Behavior: Defending Against Harassment of Public Officials and Employees

This blog explores strategies for dealing with members of the public who cross the line into harassing elected officials or local government staff.

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Lessons Learned from Snowmaggedon

This blog post will address a few of the frequently asked questions MRSC received during “Snowmageddon” this past February.

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New Bills Addressing Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The Washington State Legislature passed several bills in the 2017-2018 legislative session related to gender equality and sexual harassment that local governments should be aware of.

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Is Your Organization Prepared for the #MeToo Movement?

The consequences of failing to prevent or ignoring sexual harassment are significant for an organization, including millions of dollars in litigation and settlements, low employee morale, high turnover, and low productivity. This post looks at recent EEOC activity in this area and offers basic advice to organizations seeking to create a workplace free of any type of harassment. 

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New EEOC Rules Affect Employer Wellness Programs

The EEOC recently issued a final rule to amend the regulations implementing Title I of the ADA and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 as they relate to employer wellness programs. This post discusses the impact of this new rule.  

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OSHA Takes Aim at Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

Workplace policies that require mandatory drug or alcohol testing after an injury has taken place may be out of compliance—and may lead to steep fines—according to a new OSHA rule set to take effect in November. Written by attorney Nate Bailey, from Sebris Busto James, this Advisor column explores the rule in greater detail. 

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Single Comment, Together with "Background Evidence," May Establish Hostile Work Environment

In Washington, hostile work environment claims can be based on the cumulative effect of discrete acts. As a result, a hostile work environment can arise over a period of days or even years. When a claim involves several years of cumulative conduct, how do Washington courts address the situation where the conduct becomes unlawful in the middle of the series of acts?

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