Employee News - Aug. 19

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



How to make sure you are fully vaccinated by October 18

All King County Executive branch employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, 2021

To meet this requirement, employees must:

  • Receive their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the first shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, by Oct. 4, 2021, and
  • Provide verified proof of vaccination by Oct. 18, 2021

Make sure you know when you need to start your vaccine schedule in order to meet the October 18 requirement. Click here for more information. 

vax schedule

zoom meeting

In-person meetings and gatherings strongly discouraged

King County is strongly discouraging any in-person meetings or gatherings for Executive Branch employees other than those necessary for business operations. This includes any social events for employees.

Please work with your supervisors and use good judgment about which meetings are essential and limit the number of people present. Conduct meetings using Teams or teleconference wherever practical. Thank you for your assistance as we continue to fight the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

Employee Spotlights

Shawn Thomas

Meet Health Hero Shawn Thomas

Balanced You Health Heroes spotlights employees who are nurturing their well-being. Meet Deputy Shawn Thomas with the King County Sheriff’s Office Wellness Unit!

In this Health Heroes video, she shares with us all the ongoing work she has done to create an environment of wellness amongst her colleagues and the annual wellness conference she started that is now country-wide. 


Performance Excellence Awards

Congratulations to the 2020 Executive’s Performance Excellence Awards honorees

Several King County leaders recently announced the honorees for the 2020 Executive’s Performance Excellence Awards in a series of video announcements, recognizing employees and teams for their exceptional contributions to performance, leadership, service, and innovation to better serve our customers.

Click here to read the full story. 

How to be prepared for a disaster

Fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes serve as timely reminders that we need to do what we can to be prepared in case of a disaster. This includes having an emergency plan and an emergency kit.

Check out this video from King County Emergency Management on how to put together a simple and effective emergency kit for your  home -- just in case.

Disaster Ready slide


Commemorating National Grief Awareness Day

Grieving is never easy. During times of COVID-19, grief can seem even more complex. Our ways of honoring and witnessing each other may have changed.

The feelings that we may have – sadness, anger, fear, love – may be even more painful, confusing, or isolating. Now more than ever, it’s important to connect to each other and offer support when needed.

As we approach National Grief Awareness Day on August 30, 2021, Balanced You, Employee Assistance Program and KC Metro Wellness are partnering to support King County employees. Read the Balanced You blog to learn more about:

  • Grief Support Resources 
  • A conversation on Coping with Grief and Loss
  • Well-being and Belonging event and activities


ARWAG meeting to feature Inquest Program

This article is written for white-identifying King County employees interested in learning about promoting anti-racism.

The Anti-Racist White Action Group (ARWAG) will feature King County’s Inquest Program at their next meeting. Come learn more about the inquest program, its significance, and how the inquest program affects racial justice.

Featured speakers:

  • Calli Knight, Director of External Relations, King County Executive’s Office
  • Gail Stone, Law and Justice Policy Advisor, Performance, Strategy and Budget

The inquest program has been in the news recently, as the Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling in July upholding earlier changes made to the program. An inquest is an administrative, fact-finding inquiry into the manner, facts, and circumstances of a death. Under an Order issued by the King County Executive, there shall be an inquest into the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of law enforcement in the course of their duties. Many, if not most, deaths at the hands of law enforcement have been of people of color. King County is the only county in the nation where inquests are mandatory, based on the county charter.

ARWAG members will also provide updates about their work on making institutional change.

The Anti-Racist White Action Group, an official county affinity group, meets regularly on the fourth Tuesday of most months at 12 p.m.

Need help with your internet bill? You may qualify for assistance

King County residents may be eligible to receive a monthly benefit to lower the cost of their high-speed internet service.

in May, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  launched the $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit that provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband internet service for eligible households nationwide and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on Tribal lands through 2023, or until funds run out. The benefit also provides up to $100 per household toward a onetime purchase of a computer, laptop or tablet.

Any King County resident can visit kingcounty.gov/EBB to see if they qualify, or check with their internet provider. The FCC Emergency Broadband Support Center is available at 833-511-0311 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to answer questions or request a mail-in application.

Surface Water Management Fee discount for families with low incomes

Residents of unincorporated King County with low incomes may be eligible for a new discount. Annual property taxes include a fee for surface water management. That fee helps address flooding, erosion and pollution caused by development.

If you qualify as a low-income household and live on your own property in unincorporated King County, you may be eligible for a 50 percent discount on the annual surface water management fee on your land parcel(s). To learn more, go to the King County website, call 206-477-4800, or send an email.

Training Spotlight:

  • Mentorship Lunch & Learn – Online – Would you like to have a mentor, someone who can help you grow professionally? Do you want to strengthen your coaching skills? As a Mentee, you will have a trusted advisor who can help you navigate complex situations, and as a Mentor, you can uncover new or forgotten skills and build influence. This Lunch and Learn is free and the next session is
  • Equity and Leadership – Online – Created in partnership with the Office of Equity and Social Justice, Equity and Leadership is designed to support participants’ ability to recognize the role that race and racism have on disparities in our workforce and to understand the responsibility for people leaders to create racially equitable work environments for their teams. Sessions are free and offered monthly. The next session will be:

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

Tech Tip: Turning ‘Focused’ inbox off (or on) in Microsoft Outlook 

The “Focused” inbox in Microsoft Outlook separates your inbox into two tabs—Focused and Other. That keeps important email messages in the Focused tab while the rest remain easily accessible—but out of the way—on the “Other” tab. But not everyone wants to organize their inbox this way. 

It’s simple to change back to a more typical inbox: 

  • Select the View tab. 
  • Select Show Focused Inbox

The Focused and Other tabs will disappear from the top of your mailbox. 

Security Tips - Hovering over links

How can you tell if an email is safe? Even if you catch red flags in an email, such as typos or poor grammar, an urgent demeanor, or even a spoofed domain, how can you truly decipher the safety of an email?

An immediate step you can take is to watch out for one of the most critical tell-tale signs of a phishing email—a mismatched or fake URL.  

Why is hovering important? What can it do for you? Hovering not only allows you a moment to think before proceeding, it allows you the opportunity to see where a link is going to redirect you. This is especially important because not all links lead to where they appear, or insinuate they'll go. When you hover, check for the following to ensure you're staying safe and secure:

  • If the email appears to be coming from a company, does the hover link match the website of the sender?
  • Does link have a misspelling of a well-known website (such as Micorsoft.com)?
  • Does the link redirect to a suspicious external domain appearing to look like the sender’s domain (that is, micorsoft-support.com rather than microsoft.com)?
  • Does the hover link show a URL that does not match where the context of the email claims it will take you?
  • Do you recognize the link’s address or did you even expect to receive the link?
  • Did you receive a blank email with long hyperlinks and no further information or context?

If you notice anything about the email that alarms you, do not click links, open attachments, or even reply. If everything seems okay, but you're still not sure–verify! Ask your IT team or leadership if the email is legitimate before proceeding. Remember, you are the last line of defense to prevent cyber criminals from succeeding and making you or King County susceptible to an attack.

If you have any questions, please contact kcitcsat@kingcounty.gov.

POTW Pepper

Pet of the Week: Pepper

I am an affectionate feline who would be thrilled to cuddle up with you at home! I am an independent kitty who likes to do my own thing! I like getting attention on my own terms and I may do best as the only cat in my new home. I would do best in a home with a cat-savvy family who knows when to give me some space.

You can find out more about me and my other friends on our website at www.kingcounty.gov/adoptapet. 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.

Featured Job

Social Worker / Release Planner

Salary: $33.73 - $42.75 Hourly

Location: Multiple jail facilities in King County, WA

Job Type: Special Duty Assignment or Term Limited Temp (TLT)

Department: DPH - Public Health

Job Number: 2021ML13958

Division: Jail Health Services

Closes: August 24

For inmates-patients transitioning out of King County Correctional facilities, the role of Social Worker/Release Planner is integral to ensure continuity of care. Oversee cases and collaboration with medical and social service providers while making a difference. 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions

King County Headlines

King County to close purchase of Federal Way hotel

Charging ahead with reliable battery power for West Point Treatment Plant

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.