Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Showing posts by Melinda Robinson

Photo of Melinda Robinson
Jun 04 2020
COVID-19  

WASHINGTON: Wage garnishments for consumer debt back in force

The temporary moratorium on garnishment of wages for consumer debts imposed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee's Proclamation 20-49 ended on May 27, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Employers should again withhold under writs of garnishment for consumer debt beginning with wages earned on May 28, 2020. As we previously reported, the governor issued…

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Photo of Melinda Robinson
May 21 2020
Immigration  

New Form I-9 Handbook for Employers released

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new version of its Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (publication M-274, revised 4/27/2020). The new Handbook for Employers highlights several updates based on the recently revised Form I-9. It also contains revised guidance, new content, clarifications, and…

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Photo of Melinda Robinson
May 21 2020
COVID-19  

Remote inspection of Form I-9 extended through June 19, 2020

The federal Department of Homeland Security announced it has extended until June 19, 2020, its temporarily relaxed standard regarding physical inspection of a new worker’s employment eligibility documents when completing the Form I-9. As we previously reported, Homeland Security relaxed the requirement for employers that are operating remotely and therefore unable to…

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Photo of Melinda Robinson
May 21 2020
COVID-19Wage and Hour  

WASHINGTON: Garnishment moratorium extended

On May 15, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee announced that the Washington Legislature agreed to extend the temporary moratorium on garnishment for consumer debts that was imposed by the governor’s Proclamation 20-49. The original proclamation expired on May 14, 2020, but the revised version (Proclamation 20-49.1) extends the moratorium until 11:59 p.m. on…

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Photo of Melinda Robinson
Apr 30 2020
COVID-19Wage and Hour  

WASHINGTON: L&I weighs in on garnishment moratorium

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I)’s Wage and Hour team recently confirmed in an informal email that employers aren’t obligated to return garnished wages to employees when the withholding took place before the governor’s garnishment moratorium on April 14, 2020. L&I can’t say conclusively what you should do with that money, but suggested it may be most…

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Photo of Melinda Robinson
Apr 23 2020
COVID-19Wage and Hour  

WASHINGTON Q&A: Don’t refund garnished wages already collected

Question: Before Governor Inslee’s order temporarily halting garnishments for consumer debt took effect on April 14, 2020, we withheld wages and set the money aside to send to the creditor once the 60-day garnishment period ended. Should we refund that money to our employee? Or should we hold on to it and…

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Photo of Melinda Robinson
Apr 16 2020
COVID-19  

Federal student loan garnishments temporarily suspended

The Department of Education (ED) has announced that it will suspend garnishments on federally held student loans dating back to March 13 and continuing through September 30, 2020. This change implements provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provide relief for federal student loan…

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Photo of Melinda Robinson
Apr 16 2020
COVID-19Wage and Hour  

WASHINGTON: Governor suspends garnishments for consumer debts

Washington employers must temporarily stop withholding worker wages under writs of garnishment, according to a proclamation issued by Governor Jay Inslee to ease financial hardships for workers during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. This includes writs you currently hold and any new writs you receive starting April 14 and continuing through May 14, 2020. The…

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Photo of Melinda Robinson
Apr 20 2017
 

Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation protections apply to workers who blow an internal whistle

A vice president of portfolio management at Digital Realty Trust was fired after reporting to senior management that his supervisor had eliminated internal controls in violation of federal law. The fired worker sued the company under Dodd-Frank, claiming retaliation. This worker’s internal complaint alleging company violations of securities laws triggered federal whistleblower…

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Photo of Melinda Robinson
Dec 12 2014
Labor Relations  

Alert: Employees may use company email for protected communications

The National Labor Relations Board decided yesterday that if an employer gives employees access to its email system in the course of their work, those employees are entitled to use their email to band together to discuss their wages, hours, and working conditions during non-working time.

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