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Kathleen Phair Barnard is the Principal Partner of the firm. She devotes her practice to advising and representing labor unions in litigation and in all aspects of collective bargaining and representing individuals in employment discrimination and civil rights cases. She has extensive experience in representing unions during strikes and contract campaigns, in subcontracting disputes, and in unfair labor practice proceedings. She has won noteworthy judgments and settlements for individual employees in employment and civil rights cases.  Her cases include several which have established precedent protecting victims of sexual harassment and domestic violence, and protecting employees' rights to strike, including to intermittently strike under the Railway Labor Act.

Ms. Barnard is an experienced appellate advocate for labor and employment clients.  She often appears as appellate counsel for labor and civil rights organizations, whether they are parties or friends of the court in significant cases. She frequently writes and lectures on labor and employment matters on both the local and national levels.

Representative Work

Alaska Airlines Inc. v. Schurke, 898 F.3d 904 (9th Cir. 2018) (en banc), cert. denied, 139 S. Ct. 1445, 203 L. Ed. 2d 681 (2019) (representing Association of Flight Attendants-Communication Workers of America) (RLA did not preempt application of Washington's Family Care Act to flight attendants)

Aircraft Serv. Int'l, Inc. v. Int'l Ass'n of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, Dist. Lodge 160, No. 3:17-0167-HRH, 2017 WL 11140352 (D. Alaska Aug. 22, 2017) (denying requested preliminary injunction against potential  air fuelers strike)

Honneycutt v. Dept. of Labor and Indus., 197 Wn.App. 707 (2017) (Under Washington Family Care Act, an employee's right to use disability benefits to care for family member applied if employer did not provide paid time off for illness, even though it allowed use of vacation and personal holidays for illness)

WPEA v. Washington State, 1 Wn.App.2d 225 (2017) (Government employees' constitutional rights of privacy precluded disclosure of employee's full names and birth dates under the Public Records Act)

Killian v. Seattle Pub. Sch., 189 Wash. 2d 447, 403 P.3d 58 (2017) (unauthorized practice of law claim against union subsumed in duty of fair representation claim)

Hill v. Garda, 179 Wn.2d 47 (2017) (amicus for Washington Employment Lawyers Association) (agreement requiring employees to arbitrate wage dispute was unconscionable)

Planned Parenthood of Great Northwest, et al. v. Bloedow, 187 Wash.App. 606 (2015) (representing co-plaintiff health care providers) (injunction warranted to prevent disclosure of individualized abortion data because the data was exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act)

M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926, 190 L. Ed. 2d 809 (2015) (amicus co-counsel for Labor Law and Benefits Law Professors) (in determining whether CBA provides for lifetime vested healthcare benefits, courts should examine the entire agreement in light of industry practice)

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. United Food & Commercial Workers Int'l Union, 190 Wn. App. 14  (2015) (National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) preempted store's state court trespass action against OUR Walmart demonstrations and flash mobs).

Familias Unidas Por La Justicia v. Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., 2014 WL 2154382,  (W.D. Wash) (2014) (Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986 does not support removal of Washington Law Against Discrimination in farmworker housing claim from state court; award of attorney's fees for improper removal).

Familias Unidas Por La Justicia v. Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., Skagit County Sup. Ct.,  No. 14-2-00924-3, 2014 WL 3408022 (Permanent injunction issued under Washington's Little Norris LaGuardia Act (LNLA) and Law Against Discrimination requiring employer to consider former farmworker strikers eligible for rehire and requiring employer to provide housing for employees' families during seasonal work); (Permanent injunction issued under LNLA barring employer from restricting and surveilling visitors to farmworker housing and from prohibiting distribution of union literature during non-work times and in non-work areas); (Employer prohibited under LNLA from using discovery process to obtain information  concerning worker self-organizing and communications between workers and their union officers).

Familias Unidas Por La Justicia v. Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., Skagit County Sup. Ct., No. 13-2-01641-1 (2013) (Employer enjoined under LNLA from placing security guards in farmworker housing or within one half-mile of housing, or from following workers or community supporters of workers on public highways or elsewhere).

Redmon v Washington Public Employees Ass'n, No. 08-2-02015-8, 2009 WL 9414072  (Wash.Super. Oct. 23, 2009) (granting union's summary judgment motion dismissing breach of union constitution claim)

14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 556 U.S. 247, 129 S. Ct. 1456, 173 L. Ed. 2d 398 (2009) (amicus counsel for AAJ, AARP and NELA) (CBA waivers of individual employees' access to courts are enforceable).

Briggs v. Nova Services, 166 Wn.2d 794 (2009) (amicus counsel for WELA (Little Norris LaGuardia Act  provides cause of action for retaliation because of concerted activities)

Danny v. Laidlaw Transit Servs., Inc., 165 Wash. 2d 200, 193 P.3d 128 (2008) (Washington State has a clear public policy, in context of tort of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, of protecting domestic violence survivors and their children and holding domestic violence perpetrators accountable).

Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. v. Teamsters Local Union 174, King County Superior Court, No. 08-2-38544-2 (2008) (obtained injunction protecting free speech and picketing rights of strikers, including temporary delay of egress of vehicles in order to communicate with drivers).

Seattle School District (IUOE Local 609), Decision 9135-B (PECB, 2007) (union's imposition of internal discipline impaired no labor laws).

Hegwine v. Longview Fibre Co., Inc., 162 Wn.2d 340, 172 P.3d 688 (2007) (amicus counsel for ACLU-WA and NWLC) (adverse actions by employers taken against pregnant employees premised on pregnancy-related medical conditions constitute sex discrimination).   

Andersen v. King County, 158 Wn.2d 1, 138 P.3d 963 (2006) (amicus counsel for 24 labor organizations arguing that the Washington Constitution requires that legal marriage be extended to same-sex couples) (state statute restricting legal marriage to opposite-sex couples does not violate the Washington Constitution).

Rangel v. Red Robin, W.D. WA Case No. 20:4-cv-01291 (2005) (denial of summary judgment on claim that Red Robin discriminated against employee by failing to accommodate his religious beliefs, leading to favorable settlement).

Nichols v. Azteca Restaurant Enterprises, 256 F.3d 864 (9 th Cir. 2001) (harassment of male employee violated Title VII and WLAD, inasmuch as the harassment derived from perception that employee did not meet gender stereotypes held by harassers).

King County v. Washington Public Employment Relations Commission, 94 Wn.App. 431, 972 P.2d 130 (1999) (counsel WSNA) (county was required to bargain over nurses' concern about safety implications involved in full-name badges). 

Nelson v. McClatchy Newspapers, 936 P. 2d 1123 (1997) (amicus counsel for Washington State Labor Council, Newspaper Guild and Northwest Women's Law Center) (statute prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee on the basis of the employee's political activities; however, the First Amendment prevents application of the statute to newspapers).

UPS v. Teamsters Local Union 174, King County Superior Court, No. 97-2-20310 (obtained injunction protecting free speech and picketing rights of strikers, including right to continue picket for short and timed duration in order to communicate with drivers crossing picket).

Hume v. American Disposal, 124 Wn.2d 656, 880 P.2d 988 (1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1112 (1995) (affirming jury verdict for Teamster garbage workers who claimed discharge in retaliation for demanding overtime pay in violation of public policy, and holding that those claims were not preempted under federal labor law).

Association of Flight Attendants v. Alaska Airlines , 847 F. Supp. 832 (1993) (injunction issued under Railway Labor Act protecting, as a matter of first impression, flight attendants' intermittent strike during contract negotiations).

Kathleen Barnard


tel - 206.285.2828 x6002
fax - 206.378.4132

18 West Mercer Street
Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98119

Practice Emphasis
Union Litigation 
Advising Unions 
Union Organizing 
Union Administration 
Employment Discrimination
Class Action

Washington State Bar
U.S. District Court, W.D. Washington
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit 
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

Education and Previous Experience
BA, University of Montana, with honors
J.D., University of Montana
Law Clerk, Montana Supreme Court
Law Clerk, Oregon Court of Appeals

Professional Honors & Activities 
Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers (invitation only) 
Fellow, National Trial Lawyers (invitation only) 
Martindale Hubble AV ® Preeminent rating (highest professional and ethical standards) 
Recognized as "Super Lawyer" by Thomson Reuters 
2014 Pro Bono Partner  For Justice Honoree by Columbia Legal Services 
Erasmus Scholar, University of Montana Law School 
Judge Jamison Award for Academic Excellence, University of Montana Law School 

Professional & Civic Engagement
Member, AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee and past Member of its Board of Directors
Member and Past Chair, Washington Employment Lawyers Association
Member, American Constitutional Society
Member, American Bar Association and its Labor and Employment Section
Member, Policy Workgroup of Legal Voice, cooperating attorney, past Chair of Legal Committee
Member, American and Washington State Associations for Justice
Member, National Employment Lawyers Association
Member, Washington Bar Association and its Labor and Employment Section
Past Chair Labor Subcommittee, Pacific Coast Labor and Employment Law Conference
Organizer, Washington lawyers' rally and march to protest imprisonment of Pakistani lawyers, and in support of rule of law in Pakistan, 2007

Recent Presentations
2019 AFL-CIO LCC Union Lawyers Conference,  EEO Update-Cutting Edge Issues to Watch
2018, 12th Annual ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference, Balancing Workplace Safety
2017, AFL-CIO LCC Union Lawyers Conference,Settlement: Strategy For And Recurring Issues In The Settlement Of Employment Litigation And Arbitration