Employee News - October 29, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



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Extension of mandatory telecommuting through July 5, 2021 

Dear fellow King County employee, 

This has been a challenging year. We’ve had to radically change many aspects of our lives. The way we work has shifted dramatically for all of us, whether you are working onsite and remotely. First responders and employees delivering in-person services continue to do extraordinary work, adjusting to new safety measures and protocols. Teleworkers have adapted to new technology and changes in the way services are offered. Employees with school-aged children are juggling multiple roles, while the demands of work remain. I thank you for your efforts. 

Here in King County and around the country, we are seeing an alarming rise in positive cases of COVID-19. With the arrival of cooler, wetter weather we need to ensure that we continue to do whatever we can to slow the spread of the virus. 

With so much uncertainty surrounding our lives, I want to provide a degree of certainty for our County operations going into 2021. That is why I am extending mandatory telecommuting through July 5, 2021, for all Executive Branch employees who are currently telecommuting, except where there is an operational need to physically return to the workplace. Read more.


Open Enrollment begins Nov. 1 and ends Nov. 15 

Make the most of your robust King County employee benefits package by making informed decisions for next year during Open Enrollment, Nov. 1 – 15. Here’s how you can learn more: 

When you are ready, Go to Open Enrollment Nov. 1 – 15. If you have questions about your benefits or need help with Open Enrollment, contact:  

Benefits, Payroll and Retirement Operations at 206-684-1556 or by email at KC Benefits, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday (closed Veterans Day, Nov. 11)Extended Hours are available from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 15. Due to COVID-19, the Benefits office is closed for walk-in service. 



You returned your ballot, now track it 

Our democracy works best when everyone has the opportunity to make their voice heard. Now make sure your vote counts. You can track your ballot to make sure that your vote was counted. Use the My Voter Information tool on the King County Elections website. If an issue with your signature comes up, you’ll be able to see that there and get it fixed so we can count your vote. If you have any questions, reach out. Contact King County Elections by email at elections@kingcounty.gov or call 206-296-VOTE (8683).  

Feel free to share that you’re tracking your ballot on social media (tag and follow King County @kcelections on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Hashtags: #Hit90 #BallotTracking #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. 

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Learn about the Benefit Access Fee 

Are you covering a spouse or state-registered domestic partner on your King County medical plan next year? If so, a monthly Benefit Access Fee may apply, depending on the medical plan you choose and your employee benefit group, as shown below. The Kaiser Permanente SmartCare medical plan has no Benefit Access Fees. 

If you are eligible for an exemption to the Benefit Access Fee, you must select this each year during Open Enrollment, Nov. 1–15. Read more.

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Employees need for Balanced You Well-being Advisory Committees

Do you have ideas on how King County can better support the well-being of you and your colleagues? In response to employee surveys and listening sessions, Balanced You, is developing two new well-being advisory committees: one for telecommuters and one for essential employees working onsite. Anyone interested is invited to apply. Visit this Balanced You blog post for more information. 

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Access paratransit brings food to 10,000 families in need during pandemic 

October is Disability Awareness Month – a month to honor individuals whom our King County Metro Access paratransit team celebrates all year long. 

Metro’s Access paratransit service provides around one million trips each year to our Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) customers, allowing them to maintain independence and have access to whatever they need to thrive. It’s just one way Metro lives out its mission to provide mobility for all. 

In a pandemic, that mobility has looked a little different: Access paratransit has mobilized both people and the food they depended on as a part of its COVID-19 response. Read more.  


Halloween tips from Public Health 

Holidays are going to be different this year, no question about it. But we all need to have some festivity, especially in the midst of the all we’ve had to deal with this year. Halloween has some good celebration options since many activities can be outside and mask wearing is part of the holiday, but there are still some risks with COVID circulating. Public Health has tips to prevent illness, help our community stay on track for reopening, and still retain some of the spooky and sweet flavor of Halloween. 

First, the basics: when planning your Halloween activities, follow the fundamentals of COVID prevention. Limit close contact with other people, limit touching points, and practice good hand hygiene. Read more.  

King County is moving to Teams - Learn to make a call 

By now, many employees have been notified that Skype is retiring and King County is moving to Teams. Most employees will move by the end of the year, and KCIT will let each person know multiple times by email when that happens for them. 

For those employees wondering how Teams will work for their phone calls, the process is super easy.  

Below is a sneak peek at the new Teams screen showing how to make a call. KCIT will let each employee know when Teams phone calls are turned on. Read more. 

teams calls

Supporting animal welfare through the 2020 Annual Giving Drive 

This week, we are highlighting nonprofits whose work supports animal welfare. These and hundreds of nonprofits are participating in this year’s Annual Giving Drive. 

  • Best Friends Animal Society (5007): For 30+ years, we've run the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and built effective programs reducing the number of animals entering shelters.   
  • Eastside Audubon (994): We work to protect birds, other wildlife, and our community's natural resources through education, advocacy, community science, and habitat restoration. 
  • Marine Mammal Center (2792): Thousands of orphaned, sick and injured marine mammals would have died if not for our state-of-the-art animal care and research facilities, dedicated volunteers, and you. 

Find out the many ways that you can take action in support of the participating nonprofits who are doing great work in our community and around the world. Make a donation, make a difference, and help make a long-lasting change. Read more.  


Reminder: Fall and winter mindfulness classes available 

Balanced You continues to partner with Mindfulness Northwest to offer free mindfulness classes and workshops to King County employees, via both employee-specific and community classes. In alignment with social distancing recommendations, all in-person classes have temporarily shifted to online platforms. For the fall and winter, we have expanded our mindfulness class menu to include classes for employees involved in the COVID-19 response, classes for parents, classes for mindful eating, classes for emotional resilience, and more. 

A sample of upcoming classes include: 

  • Mindful Morning for King County EmployeesSaturday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. Register here. 
  • Mindful Eating, Tuesday, Nov. 10 and 17, from 1-3 p.m. Register here. 

For the full mindfulness schedule and all registration links, visit this Balanced You blog post. 

Training Spotlight for October 29 

  • Team Leadership – Online – Team leaders must account for the special and unique circumstance of working in a team where responsibility, accountability, communication, and leadership are shared. Know the benefits and challenges as well as key sources of motivation of empowered teams. You'll also learn approaches for managing conflict in teams. This training takes place on Wednesday Nov. 4, from 1-4 p.m. The cost is $89 and space is limited. Register here. 
  • Brain-based Time Management – Online – What we do and how we do it are driven by how our brains are wired. Neuroscience tells us we have 10 brain skills and each one of us has skills that are strong (and skills that are not strong). In this class, you’ll hear about each of these skills so you can identify where the weak areas are for you and most importantly, learn what you can do about it. This three hour class is $50 and space is limited. The next session will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 1-4 p.m. 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. 

Featured Job: IT Lifecycle Scheduling, Reporting and Asset Coordinator 

Salary: $52,781.87 - $66,904.24 Annually 

Location: Seattle, WA 

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

Department: KCIT - Information Technology 

Job Number: 2020-12360 

Division: Ops and Infrastructure 

Closing: 11/9/2020 11:59 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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