Kaycee Marquis adores all animals, but cats like Honey are dearest to her heart.

Ever since she was a little girl, Kaycee Marquis has wanted to work with animals. By the time she reached adulthood, she'd gained a vast experience for the profession, caring for cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and horses. 

Her childhood dream propelled her to get a job at Seattle Humane, one of the largest animal shelters in Washington State. For the last five years, Kaycee has worked as an animal care associate, where she tends to a variety of critters, many of whom have been neglected, abandoned, or abused.  

It's a job Kaycee loves, but one that engenders stress for workers and animals alike, in large part due to chronic understaffing. “It breaks my heart knowing that if we had an extra person to help give a little bit of love, it could prevent euthanasia,” Kaycee said.

With the welfare of the animals as a top priority, Kaycee and her co-workers bravely organized with Teamsters 117 last year. During the campaign, workers faced unlawful surveillance, interrogation, and retaliation for engaging in union activities. Kaycee, a staunch union supporter, along with two of her co-workers, were targeted for discipline due to their union involvement. Kaycee's disciplinary meeting came just a day after the group voted unanimously to become Teamsters. 

Now, nine months later, charges filed by our Union's legal department on the workers' behalf have come back to bite the employer. Under a settlement agreement*, approved by the regional director of the NLRB, Seattle Humane is required to post a formal notice in the workplace informing employees of their right to form a union, among other rights under the law. The employer must also issue letters of apology to Kaycee and two of her co-workers who were unjustly disciplined for their union activities.


Kaycee proudly displays apology letter from the agency.

"We're always going to step up and protect workers when their rights are violated," said Paul Dascher, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. "Any time an employer targets workers for their union involvement, we will hold them accountable."

The outcome has left the Seattle Humane crew feeling vindicated. "I'm so glad I had someone in my corner who knows my rights," Kaycee said thankfully. "Hopefully, this will make them think twice before doing it again." 

With the organizing and NLRB wins under their belts, winning a strong contract is the group's next big goal. For this challenge, Kaycee and the other Teamsters at Seattle Humane are ready.

* The agreement has been amended to correct a name that was spelled incorrectly. 


Union Rep Laura Bolinger (l) poses with Kaycee (r) and an eager pup named Corduroy.

Want to adopt a rescue dog, cat, or critter? Reach out to Teamsters at Seattle Humane or the Humane Society for Tacoma Pierce County. They'll hook you up with a bundle of love!❤️