Oregon News & Analysis

  • Questions and answers on Oregon's new sick leave law

    Employers must begin planning how they will comply with Oregon's new sick leave law. Senate Bill 454 will take effect January 1, 2016. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) recently issued proposed rules on the law for comment. Until the rules are finalized, there may be uncertainty in the application of the law. However, employers must begin taking steps to comply with the new law long before January 1. This article provides some answers that are unlikely to change because of the final rules.

  • 9th Circuit revives class claims for commuting pay

    Before a lawsuit can officially become a "class action," a court has to decide whether the claims fit the criteria prescribed by applicable rules. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose decisions apply to all Alaska employers) recently reviewed whether a case asserting violations of wage and hour law affecting a group of employees met the criteria. The answer in this particular case was partly yes and partly no.

  • Court nixes firefighters' FLSA overtime pay claims

    The 9th Circuit recently reviewed claims of a group of firefighters and EMTs for additional pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The workers said that (1) they should be paid for time getting their emergency equipment to a temporary workstation and (2) buy-back of leave time should be included in their regular pay rate for purposes of overtime calculations. The court found no merit to either claim.

  • IRS issues guidance on tax treatment of identity protection in data breaches

    Businesses affected by a data breach often offer some form of free credit monitoring or identity theft protection to persons affected by the breach. In fact, effective October 1, 2015, Connecticut became the first state to require businesses to provide at least one year of identity theft prevention and/or mitigation services to residents affected by a data breach.

  • NLRB ruling on 'joint employers' opens door to unionization

    Businesses spend a lot of time and money making sure they comply with the myriad laws that govern the employment relationship. Employers have relied on decisions by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that define "joint employers" in structuring their businesses. This is true of employers that use temporary or leased employees as well as those whose companies are organized into several subsidiaries or have a franchise model.

  • Union Activity

    New charge filed against Walmart. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union along with other organizations announced on September 10, 2015, that a second charge has been filed against Walmart with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) related to what the union calls the retaliatory closing of the Pico Rivera, California, store. In the charge, workers allege they were discriminated against in the transfer process because of their participation in protests calling for better wages, hours, and work conditions. When Walmart closed our store, I knew it was because we had been leading the nationwide movement for $15 an hour and access to full-time, consistent hours, said Jenny Mills, a nine-year Walmart worker who was listed on the charge. Workers claim that despite the fact that there are 45 Walmart stores within 20 miles of the closed Pico Rivera store, Walmart has failed to transfer the most vocal workers in the fight-for-$15 effort. The workers first charge was filed after the company closed stores, including the Pico Rivera store, o

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey predicts 2015 bonus pools wont be fully funded. A survey from global professional services company Towers Watson has found that U.S. employers arent expecting to fully fund their annual employee bonuses in 2015, marking the fifth consecutive year that annual bonus pools will be below target. Even as companies arent fully funding their bonus pools, the survey found a majority of employers are having difficulty both attracting and retaining critical-skill employees, reflecting a rise in talent mobility. The Towers Watson Talent Management and Rewards Pulse Survey found that U.S. companies average projected bonus funding for current-year performance is 89% of target. Last year, the same organizations funded their plans at 93% of target level. Since 2005, U.S. companies have fully funded their bonus pools only twice. The survey also found three in 10 employers plan to give bonuses to employees who fail to meet performance expectations. While some of those employers give the same payout to all employees regardless of performance level, others that pay b

  • What can employers do now that Oregon has banned the box?

    Effective January 1, 2016, Oregon employers may not inquire into applicants' criminal history on employment applications. This month, we discuss what you can and cannot do with criminal records in Oregon.

  • 9th Circuit nixes disability claim of Oregon worker who made death threats

    A worker who threatens to kill his supervisors isn't qualified for any job, according to a recent decision of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers). And for that reason, he can't have a disability discrimination claim—even if a mental disability is what caused him to make the threats.

  • 9th Circuit revives border agent's age discrimination claim

    A question in almost every discrimination case is whether the employee's evidence is enough to warrant a trial. In a recent decision from the 9th Circuit, the court concluded that an Arizona-based border patrol agent had shown sufficient facts to raise an issue for trial on whether he had been denied a promotion because of his age.