Employee News - December 1, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



COVID graph

Abiding by our COVID-19 workplace safety measures 

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in King County and Washington state, we are in a more dangerous time now than we were last spring. We have reached a new peak in case counts – the positivity rate is too high, and hospitalizations are up. The Governor has issued new restrictions to help bring the numbers down. The actions we take now as individuals and families will make the difference.  

We can all play our part in slowing the spread of the virus by following King County’s COVID-19 workplace safety measures. Read more. 

thank you

Giving thanks for those who continued to serve at Thanksgiving 

Last week, many King County employees were able to take time to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day holiday, but many employees continued to serve our community throughout the holiday. 

At this time, as we battle the spread of COVID-19 and care for people impacted by the virus, we want to thank the many employees who continued to serve our community during Thanksgiving. 

We send a special thank you to the many employees – bus operators, medics and other health care professionals, Isolation and Quarantine Facility staff, corrections officers, sheriff’s deputies, and many others – who served our community over the Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you! 

King County never stops serving and we are grateful for your service and care at this challenging time. 

Employee Spotlights


King County Information Technology Director Tanya Hannah recognized by national CIO agency 

Seattle CIO, part of a national leadership network that recognizes chief information officers (CIO), recognized Tanya Hannah, King County CIO, with its 2020 Public Sector ORBIE Award. This award recognizes CIOs who have shown excellence in technology leadership, and honors Tanya for her work in government and with education organizations. 

The CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards is the premier technology executive recognition program in the United States. Since inception in 1998, over 1,200 CIOs have been honored as finalists and over 300 CIO of the Year winners have received the prestigious ORBIE Award. Read more.  


COVID alert

New statewide COVID-19 exposure notification tool  

The State of Washington has launched a new app that alerts residents if they have potentially been exposed to COVID-19. WA Notify is a simple, anonymous exposure notification tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. By adding WA Notify to their smartphones, Washington residents will be alerted if they spent time near another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19.   

WA Notify uses privacy-preserving technology jointly developed by Google and Apple and works without collecting or revealing any location or personal data. WA Notify is free and can be enabled in iPhone settings or downloaded as an app from the Google Play Store for Android phones. Users can opt out at any time.   


Metro urges protective measures, shares reported numbers 

On Nov. 15, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a four-week statewide set of restrictions in response to the increased rate of the COVID-19 infections in Washington and across the country. King County also has seen an increase in cases, with south King County disproportionately impacted. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic and especially during this time, the safety of Metro’s employees, customers, and community members remains our highest priority. Read more. 

Video: As hospitalizations increase, an update from Dr. Jeff Duchin and Matias Valenzuela 

As cases skyrocket and hospitalizations increase, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County and Matias Valenzuela, Equity Director for Public Health, shared updates on COVID-19 spread, reviewed what the public needs to do to turn this trend around, and discussed new data that shows where people most frequently report being exposed to COVID-19. 

Dr Duchin press conference

Balanced You Hope and Joy

Balanced You Hope and Joy Campaign 

As we move through the difficulty and stress of a socially isolating pandemic, Balanced You is launching the Hope and Joy Campaign. Throughout the winter, we will find ways to connect with one another through moments of hope and joy. 

The Hope and Joy Campaign does not exist to quiet other emotions you may be experiencing during this time, but rather balance them with joyful emotions and connection with each other so we can build our strength to weather these challenges. 

Please join Balanced You in making hope and joy contagious this winter. We can’t do this without you. Click here for more information from Balanced You. 

tax return

"Imputed taxable income" and agency-paid parking 

Some employees have received agency-paid parking at the Goat Hill and King Street Center garages during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers this an employer-paid benefit, and employees can be liable for income taxes on any amount over $270 per month, the threshold amount for 2020. For example, if the agency-paid parking for the month totaled $340, an employee receiving the benefit could be taxed on the excess, which in this example is $70. This "Imputed Taxable Income" is shown on your paystub as "ImpTxIncm" under Employee Taxable Value. 

If you have questions about this issue, please contact KC.Benefits@kingcounty.gov for information. 

Blood Works

Reminder: Join the virtual blood drive for King County employees, November 23–December 7 

Bloodworks Northwest is hosting a virtual blood drive for all King County employees. Employees are encouraged to say the code KING when at the registration desk in person at the site of their appointment. This will help keep track of all King County employees who are participating to help save a life. Make an appointment at a donor center, or pop up donor center at the link below for anytime between Nov. 23 and Dec. 7.  

Make an appointment online here at a donor center or pop-up donor center location, and select an available time period listed. Read more.  

Where is COVID-19 transmitted in King County? Report shows most common exposure settings are homes, workplaces, community, and social gatherings 

The dramatic recent increase in COVID-19 cases in King County reflects a wide range of activities and settings where people may be getting exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19. Instead of a few “hotspots,” COVID-19 risk is dispersed across homes, businesses, and other places where people gather. Currently, with a case-rate above 380 cases per 100,000 residents – more than five times what it was in early October – the virus is widespread in King County. It’s fair to assume at this time that exposure can happen anywhere you are around other people, especially indoors. 

new report on outbreaks and exposure settings from Public Health—Seattle & King County describes settings where people may have become infected and finds the most common reported sources of potential exposure in recent weeks are in households, in a variety of community or social activities and gatherings, and in workplaces. Read more.

Kent Isolation and Quarantine Facility to re-open as local case counts increase 

With COVID-19 case counts rising throughout the region, King County is preparing to re-open the Kent Isolation and Quarantine Facility located on Central Avenue in Kent on Nov. 30. The Kent facility has been temporarily deactivated since earlier this summer. 

The I/Q facilities currently open in Issaquah and Aurora (Seattle) are still accepting admissions, but are serving more guests than normal. Current guests include individuals and several families. With the addition of the Kent hotel, total room availability will increase to 200.  King County is opening the Kent Facility to be ready as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the County. Read more. 

Strategic Interviewing Tips and Techniques, December 9 and December 17  

This two-hour virtual workshop will provide you with strategies and tips to help you to do your best during the interview. Learning objectives include: 

  • How to prepare for a virtual job interview 
  • The interview structure and types of questions you will be asked 
  • The STAR-LA method and how to use it to provide organized and complete responses 
  • General tips and strategies 

There are two opportunities to attend this online workshop: Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 10 to noon and Thursday, Dec. 17 from 1–3pm. Register here. 

For additional online workshops offered by King County Career Support Services (CSS), visit their Eventbrite page. For more information about CSS along with links to career related tips and resources, visit www.kingcounty.gov/CSS. 

Training Spotlight for December 1 

  • Mindfulness and Emotional Resilience – Online – This 2-session workshop 
    introduces techniques specifically designed to enhance participants’ ability to be aware of and respond to difficult emotional situations with both mindfulness and compassion, a combination which cultivates emotional resilience. This training takes place on Dec. 10 and 17, from 9:00am to 11:00am each day. The training is free and space is limited. 
    Register here. 
  • Communication and Problem Solving Skills – Online  Join instructor Lenny Borer for this two-day training. He will address communication and problem-solving skills with the public and with co-workers. This two-day class covers skills for effective listening, speaking, dealing with conflicts, and dealing with defensive behavior. This training is $65 and space is limited. It takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 8 and 9, both days from 1-4:30 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. 


Pet of the Week: Indy

Hi! My name is Indy and I am available for adoption. I was brought in as a transfer from another shelter on November 12, 2020. I'm a wiggly and active guy with a ton of energy. I love running zoomies! My personality color is RED. I am a spirited dog with a fun-loving personality! I am still working on my manners, so I would do best with a family who is willing to work with me and help me become the best dog I can be! 

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: Wastewater Operator to Senior Operator

Salary$77,126.40 - $93,246.40 Annually 

Location: Multiple locations in King County, WA 

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

Department: DNRP - Natural Resources & Parks 

Job Number: 2020RB12472 

Division: Wastewater Treatment 

Closing: 12/8/2020 11:59 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

KC Headlines

Public Health Insider: Gratitude

Public Health Insider: Patterns of where people are exposed to COVID-19 differ for communities of color and across geographic areas

Best Starts for Kids: Learning Pods Update

Clean Water Stories: King County Loop® Biosolids Help Community Recover from Wildfires 

Contact us!

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