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Past Cases

Here you can find information about some of our previous cases.  The results obtained in any case depend upon the specifics of that case.  Every case is different.  Past results are not a guarantee that you will have similar results in your case.  The cases described here illustrate the types of cases we have handled and the breadth of legal expertise we hold.

Cases are listed in reverse order (i.e. those filed most recently are on top).  Want to learn more about a case?  Click the "Read More" button to access a designated case page.

Dolan v. King County

King County Public Defenders
Denied Pensions

Kevin Dolan was a public defender paid through a nonprofit corporation to perform indigent legal defense services for King County.  He and others in his situation are entitled to membership and benefits in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), but King County failed to report him and others the the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) and failed to make retirement contributions to DRS.  The Washington Supreme Court ruled in favor of the King County public defenders and held they are entitled to pensions. 

Merritt v. King County and Department of Retirement Services

King County Paramedic Trainer Retirement Services Credit Case

The Merritt class-action case was brought to obtain retirement service credit for King County Paramedic trainers, who did not receive retirement service credit prior to December 31, 2003 while paramedic trainees.  The parties entered into a settlement agreement, available for public access under the "Case Documents" section of the case page.

Moore v. Health Care Authority and State of Washington

Non-Permanent
State Employee Health Benefits Case

This class action was brought by state employees who worked at least half-time on non-standard work schedules, but who did not receive health insurance.  The class consisted mainly of employees HCA categorized as "career seasonal" and "nonpermanent" employees.  The Superior Court held that class members were entitled to receive state-paid health insurance.  Information regarding the settlement of the Moore case can be found by following the "Read More" button to the left.

Storti v. University of Washington

Backpay Owed
to University Professors Case

This lawsuit was filed to obtain overdue 2% merit pay raises on behalf of University faculty members who worked in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 academic years, and who were not found unmeritorious in their service in the 2001-02 academic year.  The University's contract with faculty members in the University Handbook required the university to provide a 2% merit-based raise at the beginning of the 2002-03 academic year.  The University breached the contract by not paying the 2% raise in 2002-03.  In October 2005, Superior Court Judge Mary Yu granted Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, ruling that the UW had a mandatory duty to provide the faculty a 2% minimum annual raise.  A copy of the Order can be found by following the "Read More" button to the left.

Glaser v. City of Seattle, et al.

Second Action Brought by Long-Term "Temporary" Employees Case

This is the second action (see Scannell below) against the City of Seattle brought by long-term "temporary" employees who were denied civil service protection, pay step increases, health insurance, vacation, and other leave benefits.  The Court approved a settlement on March 6, 2006.  The settlement includes $11.5 million for back pay, future benefits, creation of civil service jobs, and requires monitoring procedures to assure proper employee classification in the future.

Mader v. Health Care Authority

Community College Summer Quarter Benefits Case

This class action suit was brought on behalf of part-time community college instructors who worked continuously for many years but were denied health care benefits in the summer even though full-time instructors, who did not work in the summer, received health care benefits.  The Supreme Court rules that the HCA must examine the instructors' work situations, not the form of their contracts.  After remand on May 14, 2004, the Court approved a settlement of more than $11 million to compensate instructors for past summers when they should have received health insurance.

Roberts v. King County, et al. &
Duncan v. King County, et al.


"Equal Pay for Equal Work" Ordinance Case

Plaintiffs Arlene Roberts and Abu Sanusi brought a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and an alleged class of non-represented employees (both FLSA-exempt and nonexempt).  The County argued the "equal pay for equal work" ordinance merely states an "aspiration" and thus was not enforceable by affected employees.  The Superior Court dismissed the case.  The Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal, reinstating the action in August 2001.  The County asked the Supreme Court of Washington to review the case.  Plaintiffs opposed review and the Supreme Court denied review in January, 2002.  After extensive discovery and negotiations, King County settled the case.  The County agreed to pay $18.5 million to settle the Roberts class action with the Duncan class action involving delayed pay classification.

Mader v. State of Washington, et al.

Retirement Benefits for Part-Time Community College Instructors Case

This class action was brought on behalf of part-time community college instructors who worked half-time or more, but who were denied retirement benefits because their work hours were mischaracterized to give the appearance of working below half-time.  This case settled in 2002 for $12 million.

Vizcaino v. Microsoft 

Another Misclassification of "Independent Contractors" Case

In 1992 we filed suit on behalf of several common-law Microsoft employees who were mislabeled as "independent contractors," "freelancers" (another name for independent contractor), and/or employees of "staffing" firms.  The case was certified as a class action in 1993.  The district court dismissed the case in 1994.  In 1996 and again in 1997 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the class was entitled to participate in Microsoft's employee stock purchase plan.  On remand in 1998, the district court reduced the class to a tiny sliver of its original size.  On May 12, 1999, the Ninth Circuit restored the original class by granting a writ of mandamus.  The parties announced a $97 million settlement on December 12, 2000.  In addition, as part of the settlement Microsoft hired roughly 3,000 class members as regular employees with full employee benefits, which the Court valued at an additional $101 million.  The Settlement Agreement was approved by the Court in orders dated March 21, 2001 (overall settlement) and April 16, 2001 (class counsel's fees).

Clark v. King County

Misclassification of "Independent Contractors" Case

This lawsuit was brought by common--law employees who were mislabeled as "independent contractors," "contract workers" and "agency" employees.  The case was settled in September 2000, for $18.6 million, including compensation for denial of vacation time, sick leave and health insurance, and retroactive enrollment in the State's PERS pension plan.  The agreement also requires the County to review work performed by "contract workers" and requires the County to establish new positions or stop doing the work.

Jordan v. City of Bellevue

Misclassification of "Temporary" Employees Case

Our firm filed suit against the City of Bellevue on behalf of long-term "temporary" employees and employees paid through staffing firms.  The employees were denied health insurance and paid time off.  This case settled in 2000 for $750,000 and changes in employment practices.

Logan v. King County 

Benefits Denied to Long-Term "Temporary" Employees Case

This lawsuit was filed against King County on behalf of long-term "temporary" employees who were denied career service protection, health insurance, vacation time and other leave benefits.  The Court approved a settlement in December 1997.  The $24 million settlement includes back pay to approximately 2,500 past and present employees for the period of January 1989 through December 1997, plus future benefits, placement of about 500 long-term "temporaries" into positions with full benefits, and establishment of procedures to assure proper employee classification in the future.

Jordan v. City of Bellevue

Misclassification of "Temporary" Employees Case

Our firm filed suit against the City of Bellevue on behalf of long-term "temporary" employees and employees paid through staffing firms.  The employees were denied health insurance and paid time off.  This case settled in 2000 for $750,000 and changes in employment practices.

Scannell v. City of Seattle

The First "Temporary" Employee Case

This class action was brought against the City of Seattle by "intermittent" employees who were denied pension, vacation and other benefits.  The case settled in 1989 for approximately $10 million, including vacation and pension benefits.  (The Scannell settlement agreement was the subject of another class action, which the parties settled.  See Glaser v. City of Seattle above.)

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