Employment Law

Navigate Law Group is one of the leading employment law firms in Southwest Washington. At Navigate Law Group, we are not afraid to fight the Goliath employers about serious employment issues.

Since Navigate Law Group’s founding, our attorneys have been dedicated to the rights and protections for employees in the workplace. We have achieved a number of successes over the past several years and are here to help guide our clients through disputes with their powerful employers, including but not limited to state and local governments and multinational corporations. We represent individuals in many aspects of employment law disputes, negotiation, litigation, and appeal.

Our attorneys serve as board members of organizations such as the Federal Bar Association’s Western District of Washington and are members of the Washington Employment Lawyer’s Association (WELA) and the Employment and Labor Section of the Washington Bar Association. Our attorneys have also served on the board for the Clark County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Section.

We will work tirelessly to achieve results for you in your employment matter. Whatever your goal may be, we have the experience to help guide you through the process.

Colin was extremely professional and detailed. He really worked to understand my needs, expectations, and was very honest/transparent about possible outcomes. His flexibility made it easy to meet or talk over the phone when needed. The Navigate Law office was very conveniently located and everyone was friendly and helpful! I highly recommend their services.

– Stephanie Olesen

Discrimination, Harassment, and Hostile Work Environment of Employees

Sexual Harassment

Unwanted touching, sexually charged remarks, continuous unwanted sexual or romantic advances, nude photos, and other sexual harassment may be illegal. Employees are protected against these types of acts or behavior in the workplace.

Gender / Sex Discrimination

A certain gender being unfairly treated, i.e., only men interviewed for a position, a female receiving different scrutiny than males for the same work, a female being paid less than a male for the same work. These are examples of gender discrimination.

Sexual Orientation

Washington explicitly outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Even some federal cases protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual preference. There is no place for harassment based on sexual harassment in the workplace. We will stand up for our clients that are members of the LBGTQ+ community.

Religion

If an employer fails to grant accommodations for religious beliefs such as prayer, religious attire, religious holidays, or other practices, or an employer forces an employee to participate in a religious practice, it may be illegal religious discrimination.

Medical Leave / FMLA

Certain medical leaves are required by state and federal law. In certain circumstances, if you have requested medical leave, an employer cannot interfere with your medical leave or take adverse action against you.

Pregnancy / Parental Leave

Starting in 2020, parents will have mandatory paid parental leave. Employers are required to observe and to pay for parental leave. They must also take several steps to ensure that they are not discriminating on the basis of taking your leave when your child is born.

Race / National Origin

If you are being treated differently because of your race, ethnicity, or country of origin, this can be illegal discrimination. Racially charged remarks and behavior, or treating one particular race more favorably than another, can be evidence of illegal discrimination.

Disability

An employer cannot take adverse action based on a person’s known disability or history of a disability. A person with a diagnosed disability has protections against his or her employer, especially if the employer has knowledge of such disability. Protected disabilities can include depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, or even obesity.

Reasonable Accommodations

Additionally, if a person has a disability and he or she request certain accommodations, the employer must engage in an interactive process to determine if the accommodation is right for the situation. If the employer rejects the accommodation(s) without proper justification, the employer may be liable to the disabled person for a claim of “failure to accommodate.”

Wrongful Termination

If you report certain protected information to an employer and your employer terminates you for making such reports, you may be a protected “whistleblower.” You, therefore, have the ability to sue the employer for unlawful termination. Many laws have anti-retaliation or whistleblower protections for people who report important concerns to the employer, or an agency. Common whistleblower cases involve:

  • Reports of illegal activity.
  • Opposition to illegal behavior.
  • Reports of workplace safety to an employer or agency.
  • Violation of public policy.
  • Reports of fraud or government waste.
  • Reports about illegal activity by federal contractors.

Wage Theft

Washington state and federal laws have strict protections to ensure the payment of wages to employees. Wage theft laws protect against the non-payment of several types of wages and benefits, including:

  • Unpaid commissions.
  • Unpaid overtime pay.
  • Failure to allow rest and meal breaks.
  • Unpaid bonuses.
  • Late / unpaid wages.

Employment Contract Disputes

Navigate Law Group attorneys work hard to ensure that employment agreements are fair for the employee. We have experience negotiating, drafting, and litigating several contract-based legal issues, including:

  • Non-competition (“non-compete”) clauses.
  • Non-solicitation agreements.
  • Confidentiality agreements.
  • Severance agreements & negotiations.
  • Arbitration agreements.
  • Breach of contract.

Administrative Claims

In addition to claims being asserted in court, workplace rights are also regulated by administrative agencies. Navigate attorneys have a wealth of experience advocating for their clients in administrative courts and agencies, including the following:

  • Representing employers and employees for alleged WISHA (workplace safety) violations.
  • Preparing and filing complaints with the Washington State Human Rights Commission.
  • Preparing and filing Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints.
  • Preparing and filing complaints to the Department of Labor.
  • Representing clients to appeal claims for unemployment benefits.
  • Wrongful termination of miners under section 105(c)(1) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, 30 U.S.C. 815(c)(1).
Colin was a pleasure to work with. He made my entire experience at Navigate Law Group as pleasant as one can. All in all, everything went quickly, and I knew that at the end of the day Colin and his team were going to do their best keeping my interests in mind. I felt that they were very honest with me – which is important. I would definitely recommend them for any of your legal needs.

– Sam Etter

Our Employment Law Attorney

Colin F. McHugh

Colin F. McHugh

Attorney/Co-Owner

​Employment Law | Business Law  | Civil Litigation | Construction Law

The matter of concern was reviewed by Colin. He listened to the details and appropriately distilled things down to what really carried weight and educated me on the things I erroneously perceived of importance. Together, we discussed possible outcomes and committed to pursue one. Although not guaranteed in matters of law, we did achieve our desired outcome. I would definitely seek Colin McHugh’s services in the future if needed.

– Luke Rosen

Employment Law Blogs

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