The Firehouse Lawyer Newsletter

Results for newsletters with the topic “Public Records Act

DescriptionVolume_IssueYearMonthPDF
Today the Firehouse Lawyer addresses numerous issues, including two important ADA cases before the US Supreme Court involving the determination of whether certain employees were qualified individuals with a disability (QID); the privacy of telephone conversations under the Washington Privacy Act, RCW 9.73; local governments not being exempt from contractor licensing under L & I regulations; and finally, we look at a Washington court case addressing the applicability of the Public Records Act to the Washington State Association of Counties and the Washington State Association of County Officials. 03-0419994v03n04apr1999.pdf
We now discuss another jurisdiction’s consideration of the privacy rights of public employees in their personnel files; the duty to accommodate disabled firefighters under the ADA; the illegality of partial pay docking under FLSA; and then we consider some EEOC guidelines on offering disabled employees “equivalent positions” upon their return to work, and situations within which a leave request is covered by both the FMLA and the ADA. 03-0519995v03n05may1999.pdf
Today the Firehouse Lawyer considers some important case law interpreting the importance of response times and reasonable estimates for disclosing records under the Public Records Act; legislative clarification of the 207 (k) exemption under FLSA; another important case involving civil services commissions as they relate to collective bargaining; we also look at scoring criteria for veterans; and then we address certain questionable NFPA standards that may increase litigation. 03-12199912v03n12dec1999.pdf
Today we address a myriad of issues with the Public Records Act, including giving the “fullest assistance” possible to records requestors, requiring that requests be made in writing, penalties, and records indexing; we also consider whether a discussion between two members of a governing body, when this does not constitute a majority of that body, is a “meeting” under the OPMA; there is also some legislation of interest addressing the finding in the Hangartner case that an agency cannot reject records requests on the grounds that a request is overbroad; we then briefly discuss the requirement that your agency hire a claims agent under RCW 4.96 to process claims. 05-0920059v05n09sep2005.pdf
We discuss various topics in this issue: FLSA implications with volunteers; the public disclosure commission and the use of public funds in campaigning; the Open Meetings Act and quorums; the Model Rules for the Public Records Act; and the Washington State Family Medical Leave Act: RCW 49.78.06-11200611v06n11nov2006.pdf
This article considers the legality of public employee strikes under the Washington Collective Bargaining Act, RCW 41.56, and other regulations; we also analyze recently updated federal laws pertaining to volunteers and Medicare payments, along with a consideration of the work product doctrine under the Public Records Act. 08-0120081v08n01jan2008.pdf
We look into some amendments to the ADA, particularly the definition of "qualified individual with a disability"; we also speak on the issue of paying compensatory time in lieu of overtime compensation, and developing model policies on photo and videos. 08-10200810v08n10oct2008.pdf
This article addresses various issues with the Public Records Act, including requests for information, charges for copying records (and medical records specifically), and penalties for withholding records in bad faith; we also outline some age-old doctrines of labor law. 09-0720097v09n07jul2009.pdf
This article is a big one: We touch on the "brief explanation" requirement of the Public Records Act, calculating overtime pay, the burden of proof when claiming an occupational disease, and the burden of proof to show pretext by an employer under RCW 49.60. 11-03201312v11n03dec2013.pdf
This issue discusses the use of personal electronic devices, and what impacts that may have under the Public Records Act. This issue also addresses contracts with Indian Tribes, pro-rationing and "ultra vires" actions of joint boards. 12-0320149v12n03sep2014.pdf
Today the Firehouse Lawyer addresses the impact of marijuana legalization and its impact on drug testing in the workplace. This article also touches on the use of benefit charges and a case involving personal electronic devices. 12-04201512v12n04dec2014.pdf
Fire districts should be wary of potential privacy concerns at emergency scenes, particularly under the law of search and seizure. This article addresses those concerns. 13-0220152v13n02feb2015.pdf
Today the Firehouse Lawyer addresses a Public Records Act case involving personnel investigations, particularly the exemption of "personal information in files maintained for public employees" from disclosure. 13-0420154v13n04apr2015.pdf
Today the Firehouse Lawyer discusses the Intra-State Building Safety Mutual Aid System, a statute unheard of in the fire service, which may provide another revenue-building tool for fire districts, if certain legislative fixes are made; we also consider the implications of government officials receiving gifts; a new Washington senate bill that amends RCW 39.34.030, and consequently, aspects of the public bid laws; whether call logs are public records, or whether requests for electronic copies of files that are not backed up are proper public records requests; and finally, we talk about whether your policies should properly designate “peer support group counselors,” such that any confidences revealed to them during treatment may not be inquired into in a court of law.13-0620156June_2015_FINAL.pdf
This issue discusses an important case involving prescription drugs, and whether an employer discriminated against a prospective employee based on a perceived disability; the Disability Leave Supplement and its effect on retirement service credits; a correction of an article in last month's newsletter; a brief discussion about Nissen v. Pierce County, a Public Records Act case; and finally, we discuss aspects of the CARES statute, as it pertains to community paramedicine. 13-0920159September2015_ThidDraft.pdf
The Public Records Act has changed in a fundamental way, because the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that public agencies may now be charged a per-page penalty for wrongful withholding of public records; we also discuss a very important case related to bargaining subjects; charges for copying and searching for medical records; and another important case covering duty-related disability retirement. 14-0420164April2016FINAL.pdf
The laws applicable to fire districts and regional fire authorities are certainly not the same, and we consider those differences and similarities in this issue; we also discuss new litigation pertaining to worker's compensation and the "subjective findings" of treating physicians; we also outline a public records act case involving statutes of limitation. 14-09201692016SeptemberFINAL.pdf
Today we discuss when records used or created by third persons that are tasked by a public agency to perform a particular job are public records; we also consider a remarkable change to the attorney-client privilege. 14-10201610October2016FINAL.pdf
The lesson for today is that written evidence of a particular fact will generally be given greater weight than an assertion of an oral understanding: put it in writing; we also consider how a union requesting information is different than a public records request; finally, we discuss how certain impending changes to the overtime requirements may in fact be halted. 14-11201611November2016FINAL.pdf
This month, the Firehouse Lawyer sheds light on changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act, with respect to the "white collar" exemptions; changes to the post-incident investigation procedures of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act; notice to third parties of public records requests, and when that notice should be given and when not; a new electronic records law that affirmatively requires local agencies in Washington to adopt policies on electronic records; a court case involving standing to sue under the Open Public Meetings Act; and finally, we discuss our involvement in an important Washington Supreme Court case. 14-8E20168August2016.pdf
In this issue, the Firehouse Lawyer addresses recent case law arising under the Public Records and Open Public Meetings Acts; recent EEOC insights into inquires into disabilities, and how that relates to conditional offers of employment; and finally, we introduce a new column in honor of Bill Jarmon: Safety Bill. 15-0120171January_2017_FINAL.pdf
Celebrate your independence by reading our latest issue, where we consider a new case involving five-day letters under the Public Records Act; the retainage requirements for public works contracts; and where we inform you about our new office space at South King Fire and Rescue! 15-0620176June2017FINAL.pdf
Today we consider some significant changes to the Public Records Act, some good and some bad; we also discuss in our SAFETY BILL column and exception to the "two in two out" rule set forth in WAC 296-305. 15-0720177July2017FINAL.pdf
This is a hot issue, no pun intended: The Washington Public Employment Relations Commission recently delivered a crucial decision governing when minimum staffing is a mandatory subject of bargaining; the Washington Supreme Court rendered an opinion governing when neglectful actions may constitute a "violation of the oath of office" for purposes of a recall petition; finally, we shed light on a very important decision from a Washington Court of Appeals pertaining to when the Washington Constitution provides an exemption from the Public Records Act disclosure requirements. 15-11201711November2017FINAL.pdf
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