Administrative Law

Administrative law is regulatory law created by administrative agencies. Regulations are created and enforced by administrative agencies which can be executive, legislative or independent. Agencies exist at both the state and federal level. They are involved in creating and enforcing regulation. They are governed by their enabling statute and administrative procedures acts.

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Overview of Administrative LawAdministrative Law Answers at Tollefsen Law

Administrative law governs the activities of administrative agencies of government  include rulemaking, adjudication, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory agenda. Administrative law ideals with the decision-making of administrative units of government such as boards and commissions that are part of a national regulatory scheme in such areas as police law, international trade, manufacturing, the environment, taxation, broadcasting, immigration and transport. Administrative law expanded greatly during the twentieth century, as legislative bodies worldwide created more government agencies to regulate the increasingly complex social, economic and political spheres of human interaction.

Civil law countries often have specialized courts, administrative courts, that review these decisions. Most contested cases in administrative courts are related to taxation. Agency courts usually have their own appeal track separate from the judicial courts. Administrative decisions are reviewed on a limited basis by the courts. The scope of the review is defined by statute and constitutional due process. Federal courts review whether the decision was “arbitrary or capricious” under the U.S. Administrative Procedure Act. States generally have their own version of the Administrative Procedures Act.

In the United States, many government agencies are organized under the executive branch of government, although a few are part of the judicial or legislative branches. Congress has also created some special judicial bodies known as Article I tribunals to handle some areas of administrative law.

In administrative courts, the rules and procedures are relaxed compared to judicial courts. One notable difference is that hearsay deemed reliable by the hearing officer can be admitted in administrative proceedings.

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Note our disclaimer – these materials are no substitute for legal advice. The articles may be out of date, be incomplete, contain errors, or not be relevant to the fact situation you are researching. Do not rely on the information found on this website to make a legal or business decision.

Regulatory Compliance: It’s the Little Things…

Regulatory penalties can be devastating for a company, yet many companies, especially small companies, fail to plan for or devote resources to regulatory compliance. These companies can be confused and incredulous when they become the focus of investigations or sanctions and may delay responding until their very existence is at stake. Proper counsel can help companies understand regulators’ focus which helps them to prepare for and address compliance issues in a timely manner.

Redactions of Employees Name Not Proper

Under Washington Public Records Act redactions must violate right to privacy Identifying employee not highly offensive Case Opinion: 140826-West-v-Port-of–Olympia West v. Port of Olympia, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 2097 (Wash. Ct. App. Aug. 26, 2014) Arthur West appeals the trial court’s dismissal of his Public Records Act (PRA) claim against the Port of Olympia. West’s claim is based on the Port’s redactions of a Port employee’s name, job title, job duties, and other identifying details from an investigative report relating to unsubstantiated allegations of governmental misconduct made against that employee. The Port made the redactions under the exemption in former RCW 42.56.230(2) for personal information that would violate an employee’s right to privacy. We assume without deciding that the employee’s identity constituted personal information and that the employee had a privacy right in his or her identity in connection with the allegations. However, we hold that the Port’s redactions violated the PRA because disclosure of the identifying information would not be highly offensive to a reasonable person and therefore would not violate the employee’s right to privacy. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s dismissal of West’s PRA claim. In addition, we award attorney fees to West on appeal and remand to the trial court to award West his attorney fees and costs below and to determine whether a statutory penalty is...

Debt Purchasers Need Collection License

Gray v Suttell & Associates (Supreme Court WA, Aug 28, 2014)   Copy of the Opinion: 140828 WSC Gray v Suttell Over a thousand collection lawsuits were filed in the name of the purchaser of the debt. The Supreme Court held that was unlawful if the buyer did not have a debt collection license from Washington State. The court included the following industry analysis in its opinion. Since the enactment of the WCAA, the debt collection industry has grown and changed to keep up with the increasing amount of consumer delinquent debt. TheFederal Trade Commission noted that ‘”[t]he most significant change in the debt collection business in recent years has been the advent and growth of debt buying.”‘FED. TRADE COMM’N, THE STRUCTURE AND PRACTICES OF THE DEBT BUYING INDUSTRY (2013) (alteration in original) (quoting FED. TRADE COMM’N, COLLECTING CONSUMER DEBTS: THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE 13 n.1 (2009)). Although a relatively new industry, by 2007, the debt collection industry employed over 200,000 people and reported annual revenue of $58 billion from consumer collections. RICK JURGENS & ROBERT J. HOBBS, NAT’L CONSUMER LAW CTR., THE DEBT MACHINE, HOW THE COLLECTION INDUSTRY HOUNDS CONSUMERS AND OVERWHELMS COURTS 5 (201 0). A “debt buyer” is an entity or individual that purchases delinquent or charged-off debts from a creditor, usually for a fraction of the face value of the debt, and then takes some action to collect on those claims. H.B. REP. on SUBSTITUTE H.B. 1822, at 2, 63d Leg., Reg. Sess. (Wash. 2013). There is growing concern that collection practices employed by debt buyers are harmful to consumers. A legislative staff summary of public...

L&I Disputes – WA

Washington Labor and Industries  Disputes Appeal of Washington Labor and Industry Assessment A major cost for Washington employers is the hourly charge imposed by Washington State’s Department of Labor and Industry (Workers’ Compensation). For manufacturing and construction businesses, the rates exceed $1 per hour. The calculation of L & I is a complex process requiring expertise. Often Washington employers make errors on their L & I forms – sometimes paying excess fees and sometimes not paying all that is due. The Department of Labor and Industry regularly audits Washington employers. Surprisingly, their audits can also contain errors. Also, if there is a question of interpretation or an alternative calculation possible, Washington L & I tends to take the position that results in the highest cost and penalties to the employer. What should you do if you are facing an audit by Washington State’s Department of Labor and Industry? First, make sure you are working with a professional who is knowledgeable in the L & I process. Hire an experienced accountant or consultant. It is preferable that the consultant or accountant has the experience of previously working for Washington’s L & I agency. It is important you do not delay. You have only 30 days after you receive the Notice and Order of Assessment to ask for reconsideration. Hire the professional before the field audit is conducted by Labor and Industry. Even if you have failed to file the proper reports with the agency, a qualified consultant can save money far in excess of the cost of obtaining the assistance. What if you need to appeal a Notice and Order...

Voluntary Reduction in Force

Loophole Created in Unemployment Law for Big Business to Save State Money Verizon Nw., Inc. v. Employment Sec. Dep’t, 164 Wn.2d 909, 194 P.3d 255, 2008 Wash. LEXIS 1040, 28 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 516, Unemployment Ins. Rep. (CCH) P9044 (Wash. 2008), (Wash. Oct 23, 2008) (NO. 81024-9) If a small business downsizes and lays-off employees, it generally has no choice but to terminate specified employees. Big business can tell employees that they are within the class of employees being considered for lay-off and ask for voluntary participation in a force reduction program. The employment security commissioner has provide rules governing whether these “voluntary” participants qualify for unemployment benefits or have been separated for a disqualifying reason: You will not be considered to have been separated from employment for a disqualifying reason when: (a) Your employer takes the first action in the separation process by announcing in writing to its employees that: (i) The employer plans to reduce its work force through a layoff or reduction in force, and (ii) That employees can offer to be among those included in the layoff or reduction in force; (b) You offer to be one of the employees included in the layoff or reduction in force; and (c) Your employer takes the final action in the separation process by accepting your offer to be one of the employees included in the layoff or reduction in force, thereby ending your employment relationship. WAC 192-150-100(1). In this case, Verizon argued that it did not take the final step because it gave the employees the right to rescind their acceptance of the force reduction program. No...