Mask requirements remain in force for King County employees

On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small – without wearing a mask. Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced full alignment with the CDC masking guidance, and provided for businesses to retain the right to require customers and employees to wear masks.  At King County, our existing mask mandate for employees remains in force while we review and update our policy guidance. Under our Temporary COVID-19 Personnel Policy, “Employees must wear… Read More

King County Security Tips – Is That Email Really from HR?

One of the easiest ways the bad guys trick you into falling victim to their fraudulent scams is to exercise a sense of trust by pretending to be someone you know. More than likely, you receive emails from your Human Resources team on a frequent basis. Scammers take advantage of this constant communication by crafting spear phishing attacks using emails that spoof your HR team. Spear phishing attacks are email scams that typically target an individual or organization by spoofing, or appearing to come from a trusted sender. Don’t blindly trust emails… Read More

Metro working with Public Health to get the word out to employees about vaccines

While COVID-19 vaccine availability has been steadily increasing in the region, the number of people getting vaccinated has begun to level off. Recently, Metro hosted a King County employee vaccine clinic at Metro’s South Training Center where Virginia Mason Franciscan Health vaccinated 575 King County employees. During the preparation for that clinic, Metro realized that some of their mission-critical workers are hesitant to get the vaccine. There are still many people in King County who have either decided not to get vaccinated or are still undecided. It’s normal to have questions or… Read More

Executive Constantine proclaims May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders Month

King County Executive Dow Constantine has issued a Proclamation recognizing May as Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders month. “We honor the invaluable contributions and leadership of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders across King County, whose communities are diverse and distinct in culture, ethnicity, history, language, nationality, racialidentity, religion, and a variety of complex identities – which means there is no single story of the AANHPI experience, but many different stories that strengthen our society,” Executive Constantine said in his Proclamation. “I encourage residents to join in this recognition of… Read More

Mandatory telework to end July 5, 2021

by Dow Constantine, King County Executive It has been more than a year since I instituted mandatory telework – for those King County employees whose work allowed for it – to slow the spread of COVID-19. I made this decision based on Public Health guidance for how we can make our workplaces as safe as possible for front-line employees and customers while continuing to provide essential in-person service. Your health and safety, and the health and safety of those we serve, continue to guide my decision making.  Vaccines are clearly our best… Read More

Talent Acquisition steps up to the challenge

Finding the right job candidates during COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many challenges at King County departments as they work to protect employees and customers from the virus while ensuring their services remain easily accessible. Continuing to recruit talented staff to fill the wide array of positions at the County, while maintaining social distancing is one of those challenges. Alongside the Talent Acquisition team within the Department of Human Resources (DHR), many departments at King County have their own recruiting teams. As you might expect, initial outreach to candidates is typically… Read More

Accommodations for mental health

As we recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month, it is important to remember King County’s commitment to supporting employees with mental health conditions in the workplace. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about one in five American adults, or roughly 43.8 million adults, experience mental illness in a given year. Approximately 39% of employees in the U.S. workforce have a mental health condition. And more than 50% of individuals with mental illness still avoid needed treatment. Untreated mental illness can result in other illnesses and behaviors, such as… Read More

Language Access Team provides information in multiple languages to support community needs

This year saw the first time that the King County Employee Survey was translated into multiple languages – six to be exact – and the feedback about this offering has been overwhelmingly positive. The translations are primarily an outcome of a busy, dedicated team that until a little over a year ago, did not even exist at King County. The COVID-19 Language Access Team has been receiving kudos and recognition within the enterprise as well as the community for their success in putting information into the languages that our diverse community needs…. Read More

Celebrating you during Public Service Recognition Week

from Dow Constantine, King County Executive Over the past year-plus, as the nation and world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of public servants has come into clearer focus. I want to take the opportunity this week during Public Service Recognition Week to thank you for your service. When the pandemic struck, you stepped up to make sure that our community continued to receive the vital in-person services people count on. Our public health professionals, supported by employees and community partners across King County, provided guidance and care to help our residents protect themselves… Read More

Day Care FSA limits increased; enrollment and changes allowed in May

With the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), you are now able to contribute up to $10,500—pre-tax—into your 2021 Day Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). For this year only, if you are currently enrolled, you can contribute up to $10,500 to your Day Care FSA, or $5,250 if married and filing separately. (Normally, per year, you can contribute up to $5,000 per household or $2,500 if married, filling separately.) This means you can save up to an additional $1,650 at tax time. In addition, during May 2021,… Read More