UPDATED: Employee News - August 28, 2019


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Empowering employees to prioritize Equity and Social Justice 

The Solid Waste Division is helping build a more equitable and just King County by empowering its employees with new equity and social justice awareness and skills through a series of interactive training sessions.

The Solid Waste Division (SWD) of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks engaged employees in 12 open discussion sessions where they went through the fundamentals of equity and social justice (ESJ) and what it means to establish a pro-equity environment where every person can thrive – internally and in the community.  

“I saw this awareness throughout the division grow,” Alejandra Calderon, Program Manager of Solid Waste Division and ESJ lead, said. “It’s changing the culture, and people are starting to understand that ESJ is a part of us, I’m seeing the change of how we work.” Read more.

stay cool

Stay safe in the heat 

Forecasts call for “unseasonable heat” today and tomorrow. Here are some tips to help you manage the heat: 

For everyone 

  • Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors. 
  • If you’re outdoors, take breaks in the shade or in air-conditioned buildings. Avoid direct contact with the sun. 
  • Avoid exercising or strenuous activity in the afternoon, when the heat is most intense. 
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. 
  • NEVER leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open! It only takes a few minutes for severe medical problems and even death to occur. 
  • Watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Seek medical care immediately if you know someone who experiences symptoms. 

For outdoor workers 

  • Take breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned space. 
  • Stay hydrated. 
  • If possible, avoid more strenuous outdoor activity in the afternoons. 

Employee Spotlights


Franco honored with Veteran of the Year Award  

The Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), has honored Business Resource Center team member Chris Franco with its prestigious Veteran of the Year Award. This award celebrates Franco and how he exemplifies courage, honor, and is a beacon for other Latinos to follow. ALPFA also recognized Chris for embodying selfless service, integrity, honor, and respect, and his role in the community as a leader of character. 

“It means a lot to me personally. My family is a family of immigrants and veterans,” Franco said. “I’ll be working very hard to earn it in full and pay it forward.” Read more.



Former Seattle police chief John Diaz to lead King County detention department

Executive Constantine has appointed former Seattle police chief John Diaz to serve as Director of the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. Diaz has served as interim director since April.

“I have been impressed with the leadership, strategic thinking, and stability that John has brought to the department,” Executive Constantine said. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to make this department a national model for innovation and reform.”

The Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention has approximately 1,000 employees across five divisions: King County Correctional Facility, Maleng Regional Justice Center, Juvenile Detention, Administration, and Community Corrections. Read more.

bupe staff

‘BUPE Pathways’ Program reduces illicit opioid use and improves quality of life 

In downtown Seattle, a program to treat opioid use disorder that is co-located with needle exchange services is showing promise for reaching people experiencing homelessness.  The program is based on a public health model that provides immediate, client-centered care and access to buprenorphine. 

Initial findings from two different sources of data shows that the innovative Buprenorphine Pathways (Bupe Pathways) program may reduce opioid use and improve the health and well-being of some of our most vulnerable community members. A recent article in the journal Substance Abuse found that Bupe Pathways was successful at retaining people who often face barriers to more traditional treatment settings and showed evidence of reduction in opioid use. A separate qualitative evaluation found the program improved patients’ general health, access to health care, relationships and housing. Read more.


Fluid Life Events: Changing your benefits after birth or adoption 

Last week, the Business Resource Center (BRC) launched a new PeopleSoft feature, Fluid Life Events, that allows you to make benefit changes online from any mobile device or computer. You can make changes to your medical, dental, vision, life, and AD&D coverage if you experience one of the following life events: marriage, divorce, birth, or adoption. 

You can still submit paper Qualifying Life Event forms and documentation to the Benefits office if you prefer; these forms can also be used for life events not yet available in PeopleSoft. 

Birth and Adoption 

The addition of a new dependent child due to birth or adoption is considered a qualifying life event, which allows you to make changes to your benefits mid-year. After welcoming a child into the family, you may want to add them to your coverage and consider other benefit changes. Make any benefits changes within 60 days of birth or 30 days from the adoption date. 

For detailed step-by-step instructions, see: 

Click here for information about the Marriage and Divorce life events. 

Questions? To help the Business Resource Center continue to deliver excellent service, please use the PeopleSoft Life Events Employee Feedback Tool. If you have questions about your benefits, contact Benefits, Payroll and Retirement Operations at 206-684-1556 or KC Benefits. 

Join us for Spirit Day, Friday, Sept. 13


Executive Constantine and his Senior Leadership Team are celebrating you and your spirit of public service at the first ever King County Employee Appreciation Spirit Day on Friday, Sept. 13.

If you are on break or at lunch, join us from noon – 1 p.m. on the Administration Building Plaza for first come, first served hot dogs and veggie dogs from Al’s Gourmet Sausage and Catering, games, and a performance by the University of Washington Marching Band to put a little extra pep in your step.

  • King County Spirit Day
  • Friday, Sept. 13, Noon – 1 p.m.
  • Administration Building Plaza

Walkpools: Safety in numbers

Have you heard of walkpooling?

Walkpooling is a buddy-up initiative that helps employees travel safely. Some of you have said you’d feel more comfortable walking to and from work with a buddy, and walkpools are a great option; whether you walk long distances, walk early in the morning or late in the evening, or have to navigate transit stations.

Our top three reasons why walkpools are great: safety in numbers, health benefits, and mutual interdependencies that can lead to friendships.

Check out our video, or visit the Employee Transportation Program website for more information.



Washington State’s new immunization law: How does it affect you? 

Your back to school routine may look a little different this year. That’s because Washington State recently passed a law removing personal/philosophical exemptions for MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. The law also requires employees and volunteers at licensed childcare centers to provide immunization records indicating they’ve received the MMR vaccine or have proof of immunity. Read more.

Upcoming flu shots information 

Ready, set, protect. Every fall, King County’s Balanced You offers worksite flu shots for employees. Building a countywide culture of health and well-being - it’s one way we’re Investing in YOU.  

We’ve expanded this year’s scheduled based on feedback received from employees and will offer flu shots at 33 worksites around the region. These are open to all King County employees, except when noted otherwise. In many instances, benefits-covered spouses or family members, age 11 and above, may also participate. Flu shots are provided at no cost for benefits-covered individuals - those without benefits may self-pay $30 for vaccines. Check out the King County 2019 Flu Shot Schedule and mark your calendars for the location most convenient for you. 

Training Spotlight

Emotional Intelligence for Leaders and Emerging Leaders, Oct. 19: Emotional intelligence describes the ability to understand one's own feelings, and that of groups, and how these emotions can influence motivation and behavior. Leaders who are emotionally intelligent foster safe environments, where employees feel comfortable to take calculated risks and to voice their opinions. Engage in interactive, hands-on self-evaluation and exercise to develop your emotional intelligence and become a respected and inspiring leader. This course is every Saturday from 10/19/2019 - 11/02/2019 and you must attend all sessions in order to receive a complete. A $10 materials fee is due to the instructor on the first day of class. Register and learn more. 

View more training and development opportunities at www.kingcounty.gov/learning. 


Pet of the Week: Duck 

We have a Duck for Pet of the Week – but he’s really a cool cat! 

Duck is a two-year-old brown tabby. This handsome boy is very sweet and gentle, but likes to take things a bit slow. He likes getting attention on his own terms and can get overstimulated if there’s lots of movement and activity around him. Just move carefully and keep an eye out for signs he may need a break. Due to his shy nature, Duck would do best in a calm and quiet home with a cat-savvy family who knows when to give him some space. Because he’s so spirited, Duck is one of our “Rambunctious Red” personality pets. Read more.

Featured Job: Health and Environmental Investigator III 

Salary: $77,320.88 - $98,008.77 Annually 

Location: Bellevue, WA 

Job Type: Career Service, Full Time, 40 hrs/week 

Department: DPH - Public Health 

Job Number: 2019NH10487 

Closing: 9/11/2019 11:59 PM Pacific  

The Environmental Health Services Division is seeking to fill a full-time career services position for an Environmental Health Investigator III (HEI-III). The HEI III will operate within the On-site Sewage System Permitting Program and provides education, inspection and compliance, technical assistance, program process documentation, and regulatory compliance advice to the on-site sewage industry, the real estate industry, the public and the media, and translate technical and regulatory information to a variety of audiences.  By performing this work, the HEI-III will enable property owners and businesses to protect public health and comply with the codes of the King County Board of Health. Additionally, the HEI-III will implement program activities and priorities outlined by the King County Equity and Social Justice Ordinance and the King County Strategic Plan. 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

KC Headlines

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