Employee News - Feb. 4, 2021

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



Coronavirus image

Don’t let your guard down to COVID-19

It has now been more than a year since the first COVID-19 case in the United States was confirmed here in King County. However, infection rates remain high and we need to stay vigilant to protect ourselves and one another from contracting it.

For those employees continuing to report to worksites, it is important to avoid congregating unnecessarily, including in offices, garages, and other facilities, and to continue to properly wear masks and maintain physical distancing.

Now is not the time to let your guard down about measures to reduce the risks of COVID-19. Employees are reminded that they must wear a mask at work, stay at least six feet away from others, wash hands often, and follow other risk reduction strategies and county COVID-19 policies. Read more.

Business is Open

Honoring Black History Month in 2021

This month we are celebrating Black History Month in King County and across the United States. There are many opportunities to support and join in the celebrations, and we will share some of them with you throughout the month.

The Seattle Chamber of Commerce released a list of ideas about where to shop, what to read, virtual events and more in Honoring Black History Month in 2021.

Employee Spotlight

McDowell MV EE 2021

Troy McDowell named Metro Vehicle Maintenance Employee of the Year

In a surprise ceremony, Troy McDowell was named the Vehicle Maintenance Employee of the Year for King County Metro. Previous winners selected McDowell from among 680 vehicle maintenance employees who make sure buses are safe and reliable each day. Read more


Coffee & Book

Balanced You Self-Care Webinar 

Join Balanced You for another installation of our popular Self-Care webinars. Hear tips and resources from a panel of experts on how to ensure you are attending to your own needs during the pandemic, including techniques and practices to help you navigate these uncertain times. The panel will be coordinated by Balanced You and our partner, Making Life Easier. We hope you will join us for this important discussion.

Worry Less

Meeting Anxiety with Mindfulness webinar

Balanced You is sponsoring Mindfulness classes throughout the winter months. Mindfulness is a practice that uses breath work, visualization, and other skills to support you in reducing stress at work and at home. Are you feeling anxious? Overwhelmed? Exhausted? You're not alone. Take a break with this calming session. You'll learn simple, effective tools to manage stress at work and home.

Cash Money

Making taxes less taxing

Our partners at My Secure Advantage (MSA) realize tax season can be stressful for everyone. In this live and interactive webinar, professionals from MSA will discuss how income tax is calculated, types of adjustments and deductions, ways to reduce taxation, and strategies to save.

During the webinar, MSA professionals will also review some of the common tax law changes resulting from the Tax Cut Jobs Act of 2017 and explore some common mistakes to avoid when filing your taxes. For your convenience, there will be two sessions.

Senior Woman

Online courses to prepare for retirement

It’s never too early to plan for retirement. Check out the resources provided by your King County Retirement Team to help you learn about—and prepare for—retirement.  Classes are offered on multiple days—use the registration links to see dates and times.

  • Road to Retirement: This two-hour online class is designed for employees who are planning to retire from King County in the next six months. It covers procedures, forms, medical coverage options, and pension plans—so you’ll be on a smooth road toward a happy retirement. Road to Retirement is offered multiple times throughout the year by your King County Retirement Team, so you can select a date that works best for you. Registration is required.
  • Building Wealth for Retirement:  Learn more about saving for retirement with the King County Deferred Compensation Plan. Live webinars are offered throughout the year to help you learn about savings strategies, financial wellness, retirement readiness, managing a budget, Social Security, and women and retirement. Registration is required. For more information, go to the Deferred Compensation Plan web page or contact KC Deferred Comp.

Rev Up for Retirement: This three-hour session has been divided into separate one-hour classes: 

  • Introduction to Social Security: Do you want to learn more about Social Security and your options as a King County employee? Join this virtual seminar featuring guest speaker Kirk Larson from the Social Security Administration, who will discuss your Social Security options. Registration is required.
  • Medicare 101: Join this online class to learn about the basics of Medicare and the Medicare Advantage plans offered to King County employees by Regence BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente. Guest speaker Jean Cormier will discuss your Medicare choices and options. Jenny Stark from Regence and Hannah Bachelder from Kaiser Permanente will discuss their Medicare Advantage Plan options. Registration is required.
  • Your DRS Pension: Do you want to learn more about your pension through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) and your options as a King County employee? Join this virtual seminar featuring guest speaker Jim Mendoza from DRS, who will discuss your pension and other options at retirement. Registration is required.

Please note, attendance at retirement classes is strictly voluntary, on your own time, and non-work related.

You can visit the King County Retirement page any time and read the Retirement Guide to get many of your questions answered. For more information, contact Carmen Johnson, retirement navigator.

OSHA 300A summaries now online

OSHA 300A summaries are now online. The OSHA 300A summary is part of a federal requirement concerning safety in the workplace. It is a form that must be filled out by employers and displayed in a visible area. It must be posted every year between February 1 and April 30. Hard copies have been distributed to departments for posting in lunchrooms and public spaces, but with many employees working remotely, this year we are also posting them online for easy reference. 

The OSHA 300 is a report of recordable illness and injury in the workplace. Recordable injuries are defined as requiring medical treatment beyond first aid, or causing days away from work, unconsciousness, transfer to another job or death. These reports can be useful in identifying safety issues and can be used to improve safety measures. If you have questions about the summaries, please contact your Division’s Safety and Health Professional.

Metro Masks Required

Metro to install mask dispensers on entire bus fleet

By March 31, 2021, or sooner, Metro will install mask dispensers on its entire bus fleet of 1,404 coaches. Each dispenser will be stocked with double-layer, surgical masks from Metro’s supply of one million. These masks meet the recent, more stringent mask standards from Public Heath – Seattle & King County. Even as mask dispensers are installed on all buses, we still urge our riders to use their own masks whenever possible. Read the full story

Training Spotlight

  • Business Writing Essentials – Online – Learn practical tips for producing professional-looking business documents, the importance of writing for a specific audience, and how to make the purpose and call to action clear. Review writing strategies for routine, persuasive, negative news, and personal messages. Includes hands-on exercises that reinforce the 5 C’s of good business writing—being concrete, clear, concise, courteous, and correct.
  • Leadership Mindset – Online – Leadership Mindset training for King County supervisors and managers sets a foundation that leading a team starts with the self and an ownership to create a culture where employees can thrive. In this interactive webinar, participants will take part in engaging activities, small group discussions, and action planning. This training is free and will be offered on multiple dates with the first session taking place on

Please visit our King County Eventbrite website and our Learning and Development website for more learning 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: Wile E

Pet of the Week: Wile E

Hi!  My name is Wile E and I am available for adoption.  I am about 60 pounds. I am a seventeen-month-old male Pit Bull/Boxer mix, brown and white (ID #A629389). I was brought to the shelter on January 7, 2021.

I'm an affectionate lovebug who would be thrilled to cuddle up with you at home after a good, long play session!  I'm full of energy and love to play!  I tend to calm down more when the people around me stay calm. I do best when I have lots of exercise and something to keep my mind busy. 

You can find out more about me and my other friends on our adopt-a-pet website. Note that RASKC has moved to adoptions by appointment only. If you have more questions, you can contact RASKC via phone at 206-296-7387 (PETS) or email pets@kingcounty.gov.

Tech Tip: Lock your screen

Even when working remotely, locking your screen when you step away from your computer is a security action that is often overlooked and can have dangerous consequences. Failing to lock your screen can open you up to several vulnerabilities -- some more serious than others.

Although many organizations have a policy which automatically locks your screen with a screen saver after a certain amount of inactivity, not all screen savers are password-protected, leaving your workstation defenseless.

Here are a few actions the bad guys can take when you leave your workstation unlocked and unattended:

  • Files can be downloaded from the internet and executed on your computers, such as malware, spyware, keyloggers, and other types of malicious software.
  • Emails can be sent from your email address to coworkers, your boss, or other business contacts.
  • If you save passwords in your browser (another no-no), they now have access to your online banking, Facebook, and other accounts.

Locking your workstation before you get up from your desk is simple and can prevent you from ending up in a bad situation.

Featured Job

Construction Law Attorney

Salary: $86,569.00 - $145,946.00

Job Type: Regular, Full time, 40 hrs/wk

Department: PAO - Prosecuting Attorneys

Division: Civil

Job Number: 2020-12377

Closing: Feb. 10

The Prosecuting Attorney's Office is seeking an experienced construction law attorney to join the Contracts and Finance Section of our Civil Division. This position primarily advises the King County Wastewater Treatment Division, an agency within the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions.

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