Oregon News & Analysis

  • BOLI pulls a switcheroo on overtime calculations

    In less than one month, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) radically changed a decades-old interpretation of Oregon overtime law with little notice and no input. The result is that certain employers may be forced to pay double overtime.

  • 9th Circuit gives green light for trial of discrimination, retaliation claims

    Occasionally, there is no real dispute about key facts in a lawsuit, and a trial court may then dispose of the case without a trial. Rarely will that be true for a claim of discrimination or retaliation, as illustrated by a recent decision of the 9th Circuit. The divided appellate panel held that the evidence presented by an Oregon worker raised enough questions to require trial on his claims.

  • Auto dealership service reps may seek FLSA overtime

    It's risky for an employer to treat a group of employees as exempt from overtime when that treatment isn't clearly authorized by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That was the lesson from a recent decision of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers). In the court's second consideration of the case, the result was the same: Service advisers at a California auto dealership are entitled to file overtime claims.

  • Powder keg: what to consider putting in a workplace firearms policy

    According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), each year nearly two million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), homicide is the fifth-leading cause of workplace fatalities in the United States, accounting for eight percent of all fatal on-the-job injuries. In recent years, tragedies around the country have focused employers' attention on workplace violence, and especially on incidents involving firearms.

  • EEOC releases guidance on mental health conditions

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released informal guidance to advise employees of their legal rights in the workplace with regard to depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health conditions. Although the guidance is geared toward employees, it provides insight for employers on the EEOC's position on employee protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

  • Agency Action

    New EEOC publication explains rights related to mental health conditions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in December 2016 issued a resource document that explains workplace rights for individuals with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The document, titled Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights, explains that applicants and employees with mental health conditions are protected from employment discrimination and harassment based on their conditions. They also may have a right to reasonable accommodations at work. The document answers questions about how to get an accommodation, describes some types of accommodations, and addresses restrictions on employer access to medical information, confidentiality, and the EEOCs role in enforcing the rights of people with disabilities.

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey finds performance management programs lacking. Research from advisory company Willis Towers Watson shows that a significant number of U.S. employees say their companys performance management programs arent very useful. The research also shows that employers arent enthusiastic about their programs. So theyre taking steps to improve their processes, but most arent scrapping the use of performance ratings. Just 45% of the employees surveyed said that performance reviews have helped improve their performance.

  • 9th Circuit allows representation claim against union

    When a union worker objects to being let go, she typically is able to file a grievance and, if necessary, have the matter resolved through binding arbitration. But if the union fails to pursue her claim, she has the option of filing a federal lawsuit against both the employer for violating the collective bargaining agreement and the union for not pressing her claim. The 9th Circuit recently reversed a trial court's decision and held that a worker's claims against her union could proceed.

  • Airport employer violated RLA in attempt to oust union

    The Railway Labor Act (RLA) was enacted to keep labor issues from disrupting the nation's railroad and air industries by providing mechanisms for dispute resolution. Some RLA provisions are similar to those of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), but the RLA applies only to specified transportation employers. The 9th Circuit recently came down in favor of a union in an RLA case involving an airport employer's efforts to get rid of the union.

  • EEOC guidance delves into intricacies of national origin discrimination

    Discrimination based on national origin has been unlawful since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lately, however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has seen an uptick in the number of national origin discrimination claims. In fiscal year 2015, approximately 11 percent of the 89,385 private-sector charges filed with the agency included claims of national origin discrimination.