Chapter 50A.40 RCW

UNLAWFUL ACTS

Sections

50A.40.010Employers.
50A.40.020Employee complaints.
50A.40.030Damages.


Employers.

(1) It is unlawful for any employer to:
(a) Interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any valid right provided under this title; or
(b) Discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee for opposing any practice made unlawful by this title.
(2) It is unlawful for any person to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because the employee has:
(a) Filed any complaint, or has instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding, under or related to this title;
(b) Given, or is about to give, any information in connection with any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under this title; or
(c) Testified, or is about to testify, in any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under this title.



Employee complaints.

Upon complaint by an employee, the commissioner shall investigate to determine if there has been compliance with RCW 50A.40.010 and the related rules. The department will issue a determination including the findings of the investigation and whether a violation may have occurred. Determinations are appealable under chapter 50A.50 RCW. If the investigation indicates that a violation may have occurred, a hearing may be held if requested by an interested party in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW. The commissioner must issue a written determination including the commissioner's findings after the hearing. A judicial appeal from the commissioner's determination may be taken in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW.



Damages.

Any employer who violates RCW 50A.40.010 is liable for damages equal to:
(1) The amount of:
(a) Any wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation denied or lost to such employee by reason of the violation; or
(b) In a case in which wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation have not been denied or lost to the employee, any actual monetary losses sustained by the employee as a direct result of the violation, such as the cost of providing care, up to a sum equal to wages or salary for the employee for up to sixteen weeks, or eighteen weeks if the employee experiences a serious health condition with a pregnancy that results in incapacity.
(2)(a) The interest on the amount described in subsection (1) of this section calculated at the prevailing rate; and
(b) For a willful violation, an additional amount as liquidated damages equal to the sum of the amount described in subsection (1) of this section and the interest described in this subsection (2). For purposes of this section, "willful" means a knowing and intentional action that is neither accidental nor the result of a bona fide dispute.