UPDATE: Employee News - June 8

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News




FAQs on vaccine and mask requirements for King County employees

On June 2, King County issued new vaccine and mask requirements for employees. A Frequently Asked Questions document was also created to provide additional information on this guidance.

You can read the FAQs here and review the June 2 announcement here.

This information will be updated periodically as new information and guidance emerges. It applies to all Executive Branch employees. Employees in other branches of County government will receive guidance from their leaders.

Dow Trailhead Bus

Executive Constantine hits the Trailhead Direct

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently got on the Trailhead Direct bus to launch the new season of the weekend and holiday transit-to-trails service.

Trailhead Direct is a project co-led by King County Metro and King County Parks, which seeks to ease vehicle congestion, reduce safety hazards, and expand access to hiking destinations along I-90. For the 2021 season, services will operate to Mt. Si and the Issaquah Alps. The Trailhead Direct Season will run weekends and holidays through Sept. 26.

Go to TrailheadDirect.org for details. 

Employee Spotlight

Jennifer Vanderhoof

The enchanting world of beavers in King County — and how they might benefit a warming planet

Cross-posted from the Seattle Times (Picture by Steve Ringman / Seattle Times)

Salmon was a gateway animal for Jennifer Vanderhoof, senior ecologist with King County. Her work with the Northwest’s most beloved fish introduced her to the world of the industrious beaver, a critter that can alter a landscape like no other animal except for humans.

“It’s kind of a way of life,” she said on a recent spring day while walking along the edge of a pond near Carnation, a blue heron gliding across the still, dark water and past a beaver lodge. “I’m fascinated by them.”

Read the full story here.


Stories from the Road to Freedom

Juneteenth employee events

All employees are invited to various Juneteenth events this month celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States, including:

  • Stories from the Road to Freedom - SPARKS! video and conversation series on Friday, June 11 at 3:30 p.m. 
  • “A Liberation Celebration with Tales from Our Griots” - conversations with Black Elders employed by King County on Monday, June 14 at 12 p.m.
  • A joint Executive and Legislative Branches virtual event with author, activist and entrepreneur, Dr. Marcia Tate Arunga on Thursday, June 17 at 10 a.m.

These presentations will provide insights, education, and personal experiences from a historical and current day perspective. 

Click here for more information about these celebrations.

hope and joy june

Connect with other employees through Hope & Joy

One challenge from the past year has been adjusting to less social time. Socializing at work can bring joy and balance to our jobs. So how do we ensure we are getting the social time we need?

Over the summer, Balanced You will be highlighting social activities to help us foster engagement together while working apart. For those that are missing those hallway chats and social conversations at work, we invite you to participate in the summer Hope & Joy campaign!

What is bringing you hope and joy right now? Upload your hope and joy photos or videos to Balanced You’s Microsoft Stream and engage with other King County employees in the comments of the videos.

Asian woman in lighter setting

Balanced You Self-Care Webinar: Dealing with Pandemic Fatigue and Anxiety

Overwhelmed by changing public health guidelines? Exhausted from Zoom meetings but nervous about returning to work? Or maybe you have been at work the entire time and are feeling burned out?

Balanced You presents a webinar on Dealing with Pandemic Fatigue and Anxiety. Hear from experts on how to manage your stress and how to mentally prepare for returning to the office or continuing on the front lines. During this webinar, you will also learn mindfulness techniques you can use for yourself and your loved ones.

Long Term Care Trust Act

Mandatory payroll tax for Washington long-term care program

A new mandatory Washington state wage tax goes into effect in January 2022 to fund a statewide long-term care insurance benefit called the WA Cares Fund. This program is the first of its kind in the United States and beginning January 2025 will cover some of the costs of long-term care services for eligible participants.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, all employees will pay $0.58 per $100 of earnings through a payroll deduction. Similar to the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, employers must collect the premiums and remit the money to the Employment Security Department. The only exemption is for employees who can demonstrate they have other long-term care insurance.

Read the full announcement here

Digital Accessibility Workshop

The University of Washington, City of Seattle, and Northwest ADA Center are hosting two days of free digital accessibility training for city and county employees in the State of Washington.

The workshops will address various aspects of digital accessibility, including: legal obligations of Title II, procurement procedures, web application design, and document accessibility. A highlight of this training will include a panel discussion with users who are impacted by improvements in digital accessibility.

This free, online workshop is open to all city and county employees in the State of Washington. Registration is required for participation and the deadline is Friday, June 18. Space is limited, please register at your earliest convenience.

  • Tuesday, June 22 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 23 from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Click here for details and to register by Friday, June 18

Training Spotlight:

Staying Steady – Online – When leaders prioritize supporting their and their team’s wellbeing, they add to the creation of a values-based culture where team members have a sense of stability, feel respected and can work more effectively. This training is free and will be offered 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

Data management

Featured Job: Production Operations Infrastructure Manager

Salary: $123,947.20 - $157,123.20 Annually

Location: Seattle, WA

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

Department: KCIT - Information Technology

Job Number: 2021-13627

Division: Ops and Infrastructure

Closes: June 15

Leadership and strategic vision are values our Production Operations Network and Facilities section is seeking to continue delivery of Enterprise-wide network services. As an IT leader, lead a diverse team of 40, make a difference that echoes into the future.

Learn more about this position or all available positions.

King County Headlines

King County selects Community Investment Committee members to guide $10 million investments in urban unincorporated areas

Looking for back issues?

Click here for previous editions of the Employee News e-newsletter going back to 2019.

Contact us!

Interested in sharing a news story, or have a news tip? Click here to submit an item to Employee News. For questions or suggestions, please contact KCEmployees@kingcounty.gov.