Employee News - October 27, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



Return your ballot early  

Don’t race against the clock and wait till 7:59 p.m. on Election Day to get your ballot to your nearest Drop BoxKing County Elections is expecting about 500,000 ballots back through drop boxes on Election Day alone. Avoid the traffic and get it done early. 

There are three ways to return your ballot:  

  1. Ballot Drop Box: If you don’t send back your ballot in the mail, return your ballot to a nearby Drop Box—no stamp required. 
  1. By mail: We recommend dropping your ballot in the mail by the Friday before Election Day to make sure it gets postmarked in time to be counted. Your ballot must be postmarked by Election Day.  
  1.  At a Vote Center: King County Vote Centers are available to voters who need assistance completing their ballot. Trained staff and specialized equipment are available to help voters with disabilities cast a private, independent ballot.  

Feel free to encourage your friends and family to do the same and share that you voted early on social media (tag and follow King County Elections @kcelections on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Hashtags: #Hit90 #KingCountyVotes #GOTV #VoteWa). You can also access the King County Elections Social Media Toolkit for posts and images you can easily share on your social media.  


A Voter’s Guide to the Finish Line: Frequently Asked Questions & Answers 

Election Day is officially a week away! Can you believe it? With ballots mailed and drop boxes open since mid-October, here at King County Elections, we’ve been in the middle of an election for a while now and are going full speed ahead! 

This year, we projected record-breaking turnout at 90%, and it looks like we’re well on our way! King County has shown up and we’re already at about 55% turnout. Out of 1.4 million registered voters, we’ve had more than 800,000 ballots returned already! We’ve never seen early turnout like this. To hit 90% turnout, we still need to hear from over half a million King County voters. Read more.  



Reasons to enroll in an FSA 

Need an easy way to save money? During Open Enrollment—Nov. 1–15—you can enroll in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). You’ll set aside pretax dollars from your paycheck, then use it to pay for eligible health care or dependent day care expenses. Since you’re not paying federal or FICA taxes on your FSA money, you get a huge tax savings. 

Here’s why you should consider enrolling in an FSA during Open Enrollment: 

  • Save money. FSA contributions are pre-tax, resulting in a significant savings. 
  • Orthodontia. Contribute up to $2,750 to a Health Care FSA and pay for eligible health expenses, such as orthodontia, eyeglasses, and hearing aids. 
  • Debit cards. Using the Navia Benefits Card makes paying for health care expenses even easier—often eliminating the hassle of submitting receipts and waiting for reimbursement. 

Read more.

COVID-19 frontline charities 

You asked for it, and we created it. A highly requested list for this years Employee Giving Program was non-profits who are actively serving those affected by COVID-19. 

This above link to the comprehensive list is the result of a collaborative, cross-departmental effort to uplift EGP nonprofits that are working with communities who have been particularly impacted by COVID-19/are “on the frontlines.” This workgroup is centered on mutual support of each other as Ambassadors and of the community. The group has taken a broad, inclusive approach to identify the focus areas (still broad in scope): BIPOC, immigrant & refugee, LGBTQ+ communities, and industries/workers who have been impacted. Additionally the group cross-referenced EGP listings with a local, community-generated list of nonprofits engaged in COVID emergency response for inclusion. 

We plan to feature organizations weekly that are actively aiding in the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are five organizations that we love! Read more.  

Support survivors and speak out against domestic violence 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and an important time to share information and resources to support survivors. Prior to COVID-19, domestic and intimate partner violence were ongoing epidemics impacting people of all races, ages, genders, and orientations, but this health crisis has continued to intensify during times of stay-at-home orders, school and work transition, increased stress, and isolation as a result of the pandemic.  

This is a critical time to learn about domestic violence and connect to supportive resources.  

  • To get help or support someone in need, review the Domestic Violence Resource Flyer to be connected to resources including safe shelter, advocacy, emotional support, and legal assistance. 
  • Emergency petitions through King County District Court can be now filed for Anti-Harassment or Stalking Orders remotely 
  • King County employees dealing with a domestic violence situation and in need of support, can also call the King County Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 206-263-8733 or email HRDEAP@kingcounty.gov. Additional employee resources through EAP for emergency housing and community safety can be viewed here 

King County provides support and resources for survivors of domestic violence and their families, and has also partnered with nonprofits that provide domestic violence assistance. Employees can participate in the Employee Giving Program by donating to an organization here 

Together, King County and its employees can create safe communities where all people thrive and have access to the resources they need. 


When staying home isn’t safe: Domestic violence in King County during a pandemic 

The Governor’s Stay Home Order, business closures and other strategies helped slow the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the social isolation and stress resulting from these efforts, combined with less access to external supports, may be increasing the occurrence of family violence. 

Using data from emergency department visits, the legal system and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Public Health – Seattle & King County released a new report comparing 2020 domestic violence patterns to the prior year. Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, people continue to seek out domestic violence services. Read more.  

metro gold tire

Metro’s “Gold Tire” ceremony celebrates retirement of fleet’s diesel only coaches 

After 21 years of service to the residents of King County, King County Metro is celebrating the “retirement” of the last diesel-only coaches in its fleet, continuing the agency’s commitment to a zero-emission future. 

After the first “1100” model coaches joined Metro in 1999, the fleet had 1,100 diesel-only coaches. Today, that number is zero. All Metro coaches are now either fully-hybrid (diesel-electric) or zero-emission coaches (electric trolleys and battery-electric coaches). Metro proudly joins only a handful of large transit agencies in the U.S. that have a fleet that does not include fully-diesel coaches. Read more.  

A Conversation on the Impacts of the Pandemic While Living with a Disability, October 29  

The Disability Awareness Committee, Balanced You, and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are hosting a panel featuring employees with disabilities who will share their experiences and stories living through this pandemic. Resources to support employees with disabilities will also be shared during this panel discussion. All King County employees are welcome to join.   

 If you have questions about this opportunity, please email JaChristensen@kingcounty.gov. 

Training Spotlight for October 27   

  • Dealing with Difficult People through North Seattle College – Online – Get the tools needed to handle all types of workplace behavior problems. This class is tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 2-5 p.m. The fee is $89 and space is limited. Register here. 
  • Race: The Power of an Illusion – Online – This training is provided by an external consultant and will use the three-part video series "Race: The Power of an Illusion" to explore the construct of race, how it has been used to channel benefits to those viewed as white, and why racial inequities persist. This training takes place on Friday, Oct. 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $150 and space is limited. Register here. 

Please visit our King County Eventbrite page website for more opportunities. For more information, contact the Learning and Development Team at KCTraining@kingcounty.gov or visit Learning and Development at www.kingcounty.gov/learning. 

Tech Tip: Operating systems update coming 

All county employees using County devices will receive a critical operating system update beginning Oct. 26. This update will result in minor changes to the appearance of your system. 

Most of the update will not require any action on the part of users except for a restart of their device. The restart will take a bit longer than typical for updates, from about five to 20 minutes. 

Thanks for your cooperation, and please let us know if we can answer any questions about the update. Please contact the Helpdesk if you experience any issues.   


Pet of the Week: Maxwell 

This senior boy is a super sweet adventure cat! He was brought in by his previous family this spring because they were moving. While with us, he’s wandered around the cat building checking things out (with supervision of course), and wasn’t bothered by the other kitties. Unlike many cats, Maxwell would love to go on walks outside on a leash and harness. Maxwell lived with another cat, and his previous family described him as shy but loving. We’ve noticed that he’s definitely an affectionate lovebug who would be thrilled to cuddle up with you at home as the days get colder. His “Rambunctious Red” personality means he’s a spirited cat with a fun-loving personality. Maxwell can get overstimulated with petting, so his adoptive family will need to keep an eye out for signs that he might need a break. So, we think he would do best in a home with a cat-savvy family who knows when to give Maxwell some space. 

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: Criminal Information Processing Technician 

Salary$25.68 - $32.57 Hourly 

LocationSeattle, WA 

Job TypeRegular, Full time, 35 hrs/week 

DepartmentKCSC - Superior Court 

Job Number2020-12329 

DivisionCourt Ops Support Services 

Closing11/3/2020 11:59 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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