Betts Patterson Mines

Employment Law

Betts Patterson Mines’ clients have long benefited from our expertise in employment law and from our success in defending claims of wrongful discharge and employment discrimination.

Employment practices law covers such diverse problems as wrongful discharge, wage and overtime claims, and charges of employment discrimination based upon race, sex, age, handicap, religion and national origin. We represent private, publicly held and nonprofit entities on such matters directly and through a number of insurance carriers.

We have extensive experience in handling such problems as they arise on a day-to-day basis and in dealing with the local, state and federal agencies charged with enforcement of the applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, we offer a variety of preventative legal services, including drafting or updating employee handbooks, consulting with clients before termination or discipline of employees, management of lay-offs and the like.

Our goal in defending employment related claims is to immediately identify the client objective and work towards promptly and efficiently meeting that objective. We have successfully reached early resolution of numerous claims through administrative findings of no probable cause or through nominal settlements. We have vigorously defended numerous other claims through the trial and appellate courts in both state and federal jurisdictions throughout Washington. 

Representative Cases

  • Represented a nursing home in a race and age discrimination case which was dismissed on summary judgment.  That dismissal was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represented King County Superior Court in a race discrimination case brought by three juvenile jail facility employees.  Obtained a summary judgment of dismissal in Federal Court.
  • Represented a national trucking company in a wage and hour case involving 13 drivers who claimed overtime violations and that they were not provided their lunch and rest breaks.  Successfully negotiated an equivalent alternative overtime pay provision with the Department of Labor and Industries and obtained a summary judgment dismissal of all claims.
  • Prevailed in a summary judgment motion in a wrongful termination in violation of public policy case in a lawsuit we removed to Federal Court in Eastern Washington.  .
  • Represented a non-profit corporation that was sued based on allegations that an executive director was improperly discharged in violation of his constitutional and contractual rights. The constitutional cause of action was dismissed on summary judgment and the remaining issues were tried, resulting in a defense verdict. 
  • Defense of breach of contract claims against a company which terminated its broker for long-term disability benefits offered to the company’s independent agents. Trial resulted in a defense judgment.
  • Represented a non-profit in a sexual harassment complaint filed in Federal Court that was dismissed on summary judgment on the basis that the alleged harassment was not severe and pervasive.
  • Represented a non-profit corporation in a sexual harassment suit. Won a dismissal in state court in Eastern Washington after discovery that plaintiff had falsified a document used in support of her case.
  • Defended Farmers against Sherman Act conspiracy claims brought by defecting insurance agents Farmers had previously enjoined by enforcing non-competition agreements.  The district court dismissed all of the agents’ claims against Farmers well in advance of trial, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal.  Hoppenbrouwer v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, No. 83-3752 (9th Cir. Feb. 17, 1984) (notation of unreported decision at 730 F.3d 766).
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a trial for a grocery distributor in a race discrimination claim.