Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668
Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668

Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668

Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor


People are your organization’s most important asset. Ryan Swanson has the experience to help your business attract and retain the best—while keeping risk and cost in check. Located in Seattle, our employment attorneys can explain the ever-growing complexities of employment law in plain English and develop procedures, processes, and policies for efficient compliance. When disputes arise, our attorneys offer resolution options to keep employment matters out of the courts—and a highly respected litigation practice at your side when a dispute becomes an agency charge or a lawsuit. Whether you’re a business owner, a human resource professional, or in-house counsel, our attorneys help you keep your workforce happy, healthy, and productive—and keep you out of trouble.

Employment and Labor Group Experience

Employment Rights & Labor Relations

The employee-employer relationship gets more complex every year. It can be even more challenging with labor organizations in the mix. Maintaining good long-term relationships with employees and their representatives is critical. For more than 50 years, Ryan Swanson employment attorneys have helped businesses of all kinds in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest manage worker relations in both union and non-union settings on local, national, and international levels. We have handled disputes, negotiations, and litigation related to:

  • Discrimination and Title VII
  • Disability accommodation
  • Wrongful discharge/public policy
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Wage and hour disputes
  • Non-competition agreements and trade secrets
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Union arbitrations and charges
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Ryan Swanson employment attorneys help you align your health and safety practices with the requirements of OSHA and other workplace health and safety laws. When injuries happen or safety violations are reported, an employer’s duties can be complicated. Sweeping legislative change in this area makes it critical to retain legal counsel with current, real-world experience in handling such matters—experience Ryan Swanson attorneys have in abundance.

Click here for more information on our Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Safety practice.

Employee Compensation & Benefits

In many industries, competition for talent is one of the limiting factors on growth. With Ryan Swanson, you can break through those limitations with innovative, intelligent compensation and benefits packages that make sense for your business. From the CEO to the front-line employee, our employment attorneys design plans to meet your needs and goals while minimizing taxes and improving your legal position. Health insurance, retirement savings, bonuses, stock options, and alternative benefits are all areas of daily practice for Ryan Swanson attorneys, giving us the up-to-date knowledge and flexibility to create tailored solutions for your success.

Workers’ Compensation

Our employment law attorneys offer the personal attention and aggressive approach necessary to effectively represent employers and third-party administrators in state-funded and self-insured claims. We have developed effective strategies to assist in all stages of a workers’ compensation claim allowing employers to take proactive steps to mitigate the costs of complex claims. This includes providing guidance to protest adverse decisions before the Department of Labor and Industries to litigation before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and Superior Courts.

The statutes and regulations applicable to the workers’ compensation industry continue to evolve. Our attorneys monitor legislative actions to keep our clients in compliance and ahead of the curve to support development of practical solutions and implementation.

Click here for more information on our Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Safety practice.

Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA)

For businesses in Seattle, and Washington State, a safety investigation by the Department of Labor and Industries may result in issuance of a citation. Each violation alleged can expose your company to significant fines, abatement costs and future scrutiny.

Early intervention is critical. Our WISHA defense team has the experience to provide immediate support in the field during investigations to litigation before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and Superior Courts. In instances of catastrophic loss, we work quickly to ascertain potential liability and engage technical experts.

Our attorneys help companies appeal and resolve citations pertaining to cranes, confined spaces, trenching, fall protection, lead, asbestos, accident prevention programs and exposure to COVID-19.

Click here for more information on our Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Safety practice.

Department of Labor & Industries Audit

Employers are often caught off-guard when a Washington Department of Labor and Industries’ audit results in an Order of Assessment demanding back payment of industrial insurance premiums, penalties and accruing interest due to the misclassification of covered workers.

Our attorneys represent companies through every stage of an industrial premium audit. Engaging our team for consultation early provides your company support to develop a timely and adequate response to documents requested.

With a detailed approach and understanding of your business structure our team will develop a defense to challenge the assessment imposed and/or wage claims filed by employees.


Companies are increasingly looking outside the U.S. for the talent they need to grow, facing tight deadlines, byzantine legal procedures, and scrutiny from every level of government in the process. Our lawyers understand the pressures you face and we staff our immigration practice for fast, responsive service. Our immigration clients include local and national companies based outside the U.S., several Fortune 500 businesses and government entities. We regularly represent clients before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, other federal agencies, U.S. consular offices worldwide, and federal courts.

Click here for more information on our Seattle Immigration Group.


Legal disputes don’t come neatly packaged. Fortunately, many can be resolved before a lawsuit or other formal proceeding begins; others however, may require a trial for resolution.

When a client comes to us with a dispute, we listen carefully to all the details. We then evaluate our client’s position and make recommendations for a resolution consistent with his or her goals. We take a practical, common sense approach to such matters, and explore all avenues possible to assist and better protect our clients.

Click here for more information on our Litigation Practice.

Registered Investment Advisors

In addition to standard employment law, Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are subject to a host of additional legal, regulatory and compliance requirements. We focus on guiding you through the obstacles to ensure you can serve your clients effectively while minimizing risk. From employment and severance agreements (including advice on Protocol for Broker Recruiting issues) to litigation of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, we handle RIA issues beginning-to-end.

Click here for more information on our Registered Investment Advisor practice.

Legal Answers for Employers

Employment Attorney Britenae Pierce answers the common employment law question “When should my company hire an outside investigator to investigate a workplace complaint?” in the short video below.


Frequently Asked Employment Law Questions

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