Oregon News & Analysis

  • 9th Circuit reinstates arbitration ruling against employer

    Demonstrating once again the judicial deference granted to labor arbitration decisions, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) recently upheld the decision of an arbitration panel that an employer—despite efforts to withdraw—couldn't escape extensions of a labor agreement negotiated by a multiemployer association of which it had been a member.

  • Reopening job instead of promoting top candidate supports discrimination claim

    The recent decision in Medina v. State of Oregon highlights the high bar for employers in discrimination cases before Oregon courts. The Oregon Court of Appeals found that an employer's decision to reopen a position rather than promoting the highest-scoring applicant was sufficient to give rise to an inference of race discrimination.

  • Employment law: What's next for Oregon employers?

    With a number of victories behind them and new minimum wage rules in place, worker advocates are gearing up for a new fight with employers over flexibility and scheduling.

  • Court's decision shows there may be no remedy for some wrongs

    A federal employee who claimed to have been wrongly detained and investigated by his employer hit a brick wall when he filed a lawsuit. A recent decision from the 9th Circuit shows that not all bad things that happen in the workplace support a federal action.

  • New EEOC rule addresses ADA, GINA compliance for wellness programs

    Wellness programs may need to be modified to comply with a new wellness rule issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The rule spells out what employers need to do to make sure their wellness programs comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The rule is effective for the first plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.

  • DOL's overtime regs bring challenges to all employers

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the final overtime regulations in May 2016, and they more than double the minimum salary threshold for the "white-collar" exemptions (executive, professional, and administrative) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). To be classified as exempt—in addition to meeting the duties test for the executive, professional, or administrative exemptions—employees will have to be paid a salary of at least $913 per week. The DOL also raised the salary thresholds for the "highly compensated employee" exemption and the "computer" exemption.

  • Agency Action

    New OSHA rule makes more injury, illness reports public. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule on May 11, 2016, aimed at making more injury and illness information public. OSHA requires many employers to keep a record of injuries and illnesses to help employers and employees identify hazards, fix problems, and prevent additional injuries and illnesses. Currently, little or no information about worker injuries and illnesses at individual employers is made public or available to OSHA. Under the new ruleset to take effect August 10employers in high-hazard industries will send OSHA injury and illness data that they are already required to collect for posting on the agencys website.

  • BOLI's proposed minimum wage regs create new challenge for employers

    The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) is currently in the rulemaking process for Oregon's new minimum wage law. The proposed regulations will make it even more difficult for Oregon employers to manage their new minimum wage obligations.

  • Employee's political free speech is protected, even if he didn't say anything

    Is an employee protected by his constitutional right to free speech even if he didn't actually engage in any protected speech or activity? Yes, says a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Preventing independent contractors from becoming full-fledged employees

    Businesses' use of independent contractors is a growing trend in the American economy, and many observers believe the trend is here to stay. Independent contractors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Well-known companies like Uber and Lyft rely almost exclusively on independent contractors, but there has been a significant increase in the use of independent contractors for a variety of duties in nearly all industries.