Employee News - September 22, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



Watch Executive’s 2021-2022 Budget Speech today at 1 p.m. 

You can watch a live stream of King County Executive Dow Constantine’s 2021-2022 budget speech at 1 p.m. today, Tuesday, Sept. 22. 

To watch the Executive’s address please go to this livestream link at 1 p.m. today. 

If you’re unable to watch the budget speech live, we will send out a link to the video following the speech. Please note that watching the speech during work hours is optional and may require supervisor approval. 


One-stop website offers resources for employees facing layoff 

Preparing for a layoff is a difficult and stressful time, and finding accurate and supportive information is important. King County provides a range of resources to support you during this time, including stress, career support, and other support services, and you can access all of them through our new one-stop Layoff Support Resources websitewww.kingcounty.gov/layoff-resources 

This website shares information about benefits, pay, and retirement; programs that can help you land a new job; and mental health and well-being resources, so you have the tools you need as you transition from King County employment. 

The resources are divided into four categories: 

  • Layoff programs, including Career Support Services and Priority Placement Program 
  • Mental health and well-beingincluding wellness programs offered by Balanced You, as well as Making Life Easier and the Employee Assistance Program 
  • Benefits and financial resourceswith information on benefits, pay, insurance, and more 
  • Learn from home, including training and eLearning classes. 

If you are facing a layoff, the Layoff Support Resources website is there to help you navigate a time of change and stress. 

latinx month

Executive proclamation for Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month  

King County Executive Dow Constantine has proclaimed the month beginning Sept. 15 “Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month” in King County. View the full proclamation here. To commemorate the celebration, the King County Latinx Affinity Group (KCLx) hosted a kick off celebration by hosting an informal panel discussion with the KCLx leadership committee. 

“During these difficult times, this is an opportunity for us to proudly share and celebrate our diverse Latinx culture with our colleagues, as well as come together with our King County familia for mutual support,” shared Melissa Arias, KCLx Membership Chair and Program Manager for the Department of Community and Human Services. 

KCLx is collaborating with Sound Transit Latinx in Transportation and Seattle Department of Transportation Latinx Caucus to host a series of events for Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, 2020. For more information, view the events and registration details here.


Flu shot reminders 

This year’s flu season will be a difficult one as we also navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Do your part to keep yourself and your community healthy by getting a seasonal flu shot. Flu shots are available at King County job sites for essential employees required to report to work during this time. Essential, onsite employees can visit this Balanced You blogpost for more information, including a schedule of flu shot events and information on how to make an optional reservation. Telecommuting employees and all King County employees’ family members are encouraged to visit their local healthcare provider or pharmacy  for their flu shot; visit this Balanced You blogpost for more information. 

Supporting employees with mental health conditions 

As we raise awareness for King County's Suicide Awareness Prevention Month, it is important to remember that not all disabilities are visible. 

Among disabilities that are often not visible or as apparent are mental health conditions. 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 chronic pain and substance abuse, leading to further challenges for individuals experiencing mental illness and higher costs for employers. Regardless of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, mental illness affects everyone, whether through our own experiences or the experiences of individuals we know. Read more.

Is your information correct in PeopleSoft? 

It’s important to review and update your personal information in PeopleSoft to ensure: 

  • You will get important Open Enrollment and other employee benefits information mailed to you at the address you provide. 
  • Your emergency contact can be notified if something happens to you at work. 
  • You can be notified of building closures, safety directives, etc. 
  • You can receive information at the email address you prefer. 

Here’s how: 

  1. Sign in to PeopleSoft. You can also access PeopleSoft from your personal device at ess.kingcounty.gov.
  2. Go to Personal Details.
  3. Make sure all items are up-to-date.
  4. Save any changes. 

If you need a new password, go to Forgot My Password. If you have any other login issues, call the IT Service Center at 206-263-4357. 


Elections in the time of COVID-19 

Keeping our staff and voters safe and healthy is one of our top priorities for this upcoming election. Here are some questions we’ve encountered about how we’re handling the upcoming election in the midst of a pandemic. 

How do I vote in a COVID-19 world? 

The great news is that we already vote-by-mail in Washington State. If you are already registered to vote, your ballot will be mailed to you automatically about three weeks before Election Day. You can fill it out in the convenience of your home and then either drop it in the mail or return it to any of our more than 70 ballot drop boxes across the county. Read more.  

metro fares

Metro to resume fare collection Oct. 1 

On Thursday, October 1, Metro will resume collecting fares for all transit services: busesAccess paratransit, Seattle Streetcar (First Hill and South Lake Union), VanpoolVia to Transit and other flexible services, and water taxi (Vashon Island and West Seattle). Fare collection is already taking place on Sound Transit Express bus and Sound Transit light rail. 

Safety partitions are being installed in our coaches to protect both passengers and our operators 

In anticipation of growing ridership, Metro has implemented numerous health innovations so fares can be safely collected with minimal contact between operators and passengers. Metro is installing transparent safety partitions on buses, Access paratransit, Community Ride, Community Van, DART, and Via to Transit. Water taxi’s fare collection carts have been similarly modified to include a transparent shield. Read more.  


A conversation on hope and hopelessness 

Adjusting to the changes COVID-19 has imposed has been very difficult for everyone. Some are navigating different layers of grief and loss. Many are feeling varying waves of hope and hopelessness. For those with mental health conditions, this time has been a continuation and possibly, an amplification of those thoughts and feelings. Mental health affects us all, and brings with it various challenges and concerns. If you or someone you know is in need of support, you are not alone. Support is available. 

We talked with Diana Cortez Yanez, a King County resident who has lived with depression and found hope. She shares about her journey through feelings of despair and loneliness, reaching out for support, and the tools that helped her navigate this time. Content warning: Mentions of suicide and self-harm. 

Public Health Insider: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us about your experience of living with depression and thoughts of suicide. Read more.  

Upcoming Making Life Easier – Wellspring webinars 

Choose from these upcoming webinars. Register early for live interactive sessions as space is limited; otherwise, recordings will be available on-demand 48 hours after the live session  

Suicide Awareness & Prevention: A Learning and Conversation Session, Sept. 23. This live presentation and panel will take place Wednesday, Sept. 23 from noon to 1 p.m. Learn more and register here.  

Pandemic Loneliness: How to Seek More Connection, Oct. 7This live presentation will take place Wednesday, Oct. 7 from noon to 1 p.m.  Learn more and register here. 

Connecting With Your Wisdom & Strength: Tools for Persisting In These Times, Oct. 27. This live presentation will take place Tuesday, Oct. 27 from noon to 1:30 p.m. Learn more and register here.  

PeopleSoft is getting a makeover on September 28 

The Business Resource Center (BRC) is updating PeopleSoft on Sept. 28. When employees login to PeopleSoft, they will notice the new design and color scheme on the login screen and homepages. Get a sneak preview of the new look and feel here. 

And while logged into PeopleSoft, please take the opportunity to sign up for PeopleSoft Simple Sign-on if you haven't done so already using these instructions. Once signed up for Simple Sign-on, employees can sign into PeopleSoft using their network username and their network password.  There is no need to remember multiple usernames and passwords anymore. 

Just a reminder that occasionally some users may experience PeopleSoft performance issues after the update on Sept 28. The system may freeze and show a spinning wheel for an extended period of time. To overcome this, confirm you are using a valid web browser, and then follow these instructions to delete temporary internet files (also called cache). 


Pet of the Week: Benji 

Looking for a handsome, high-energy pal? Our Pet of the Week Benji may fit the bill! This young Australian cattle dog mix was brought in by his former owner because he was overwhelmed by the children in the home. Based on that history, the caretakers at the Pet Adoption Center feel that a home with adults or older, dog-savvy kids would be the best fit for this amazing boy. 

Read more and view all available pets at www.kingcounty.gov/adoptapet. Have you or someone you know adopted a pet from RASKC? Let us know. We’d love to tell your story. 

Featured Job: Administrative Specialist III 

Salary: $25.38 - $32.17 Hourly 

Location: Seattle, WA 

Job Type: Term Limited Temporary, Full Time, 40 hrs/wk 

Department: DJA - Judicial Administration 

Job Number: 2020JF12150 

Division: Judicial Admin 

Closing: 10/2/2020 4:30 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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