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What Family Businesses Should Know about Washington’s New Paid Family Medical Leave Law

On July 5, 2017, Washington State joined a handful of states mandating paid family and medical leave. The new leave program, to be funded by employer and employee premiums, will provide up to 18 weeks of paid leave to individuals employed by Washington employers.

Here are some key aspects of the law that employers operating in Washington State should be fami… Continue Reading

Harder to Let Go?

Family-owned businesses have a hard time letting go of underperforming employees – harder than other businesses might.  At least this is the thesis of Wayne Rivers of the Family Business Institute in his recent article in The Wall Street Journal.  Mr. Rivers does not cite any statistics to support the prevalence of this issue, but it is not counterintu… Continue Reading

The Cowles Company

On February 10, 2015, as part of the Family Business Legacy Series, William “Stacy” Cowles and Elizabeth “Betsy” Cowles shared their insights learned from leading their company, the Cowles Company. The Legacy Series is a quarterly gathering of Pacific Northwest family businesses that is co-sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Moss Adams, t… Continue Reading

Does “Hobby Lobby” Apply to My Family Business?

On Monday, June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled that “closely-held” for-profit companies could be exempt from the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requirement to offer birth control coverage to their employees.  As with many controversial Supreme Court decisions, Hobby Lobby is getting more attention for the precedent it may have … Continue Reading

Essential Employment Policies for Family Businesses, Part I

I’d like to continue the conversation started by Bill Weigand about how successful family businesses need formal employment policies.  Tempting as it may be to stay informal and handle personnel matters without pages of personnel policies and procedures, there are some key personnel policies that all well-run businesses need to adopt, communicate Continue Reading

Written Employment Policies Create Clear Expectations

The employment of family members in a family-owned business can be a tricky situation.  In most family businesses, employment is the gateway to leadership succession and ownership transfer.  Without a clear communication of the roles, responsibilities, expectations, benefits (financial and otherwise) and opportunities for advancement withi… Continue Reading

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