Subscribe in a reader


Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

Division I: Commission Hearing With Wage Recovery Allows Fees and Costs Under RCW 49.48.030

Arnold v. Seattle Human Services

This case is all about when a person may seek attorneys fees under RCW 49.48.030. The statute allows someone to seek attorneys fees whenever successful in “recovering a judgment for wages or salary owed to him or her.” Now, it doesn’t say what kind of judgment, and this case wasn’t a direct wage action, but was an employment action to get  the job back from the employer or pages from wrongful termination:

The deputy director of the department recommended that Arnold be terminated. Arnold, whose performance evaluations had otherwise been excellent, hired counsel and requested a hearing. After the hearing, the director decided against termination and chose instead to demote Arnold from her management position with an annual salary of $85,500 to an entry-level position with an annual salary of approximately $56,000.

Through counsel, Arnold and her subordinate appealed to the Seattle Civil Service Commission. A hearing examiner conducted a lengthy hearing, in which three attorneys participated—one representing the City and one representing each employee. The issue with respect to Arnold was whether the demotion was for justifiable cause. The examiner concluded that demoting Arnold was not consistent with discipline imposed in comparable cases.

For example, one of the other supervisors had received a two-week suspension but no demotion. The examiner's written decision reversed Arnold's demotion and converted it to a two week suspension. The decision reinstated Arnold to her former position and awarded back pay and related employee benefits. Arnold requested an award of attorney fees.

Now, was this a judgment? I mean, obviously she was successful in recovering wages. But did RCW 49.48.030 apply. The court says it did, based on precedent in which a grievance arbitration counted, and the statute’s mandate that it be interpreted liberally for employees. 

So Arnold gets her attorneys’ fees.

While Issaquah Legal Services attorneys do not practice in employment law, please contact our Issaquah lawyers for a referral to a top-notch attorney in the area who can help you.

Subscribe in a reader

Copyright 2014-2018 by Issaquah Law Group, PLLC. Powered by Squarespace. Background image by jakeliefer.