Oregon News & Analysis

  • Paid family leave bills battling it out in Oregon Legislature

    At least three bills providing for varying degrees of paid family leave are moving through the Oregon Legislature. In terms of impact on employers, they range from very aggressive to "let's study this a bit." While the legislature clearly has its eye on other targets, such as a $2 billion tax increase, it won't be too surprising if one of the bills with modificationscomes out of the session.

  • DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers

    After more than 25 years, you might think questions regarding proper interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be settled. It's a highly regulated law, and it provides employers far more detail and clarity than they get with most other labor and employment laws.

  • Upholding the psychological employment contract

    Do you realize that every one of us has a psychological contract with our organization? The psychological contract is a concept that describes the understandings, beliefs, and commitments that exist between an employee and an employer. Although it is unwritten and intangible, it represents the mutual expectations that are felt between the two. The psychological contract is strengthened (or weakened) by each party's perception of the employment relationship. It is formed through daily interactions between colleagues, managers, and the organization.

  • Is arbitration right for your company? Things to consider

    In recent years, there has been a trend among employers to adopt mandatory arbitration agreements. The increased use of mandatory arbitration agreements can be attributed in part to a series of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court that have reaffirmed the validity of arbitration agreements. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages employers should consider before adopting an arbitration program.

  • Tips to ensure you are prepared for a deposition

    For an HR professional, giving a deposition is a lot like visiting the dentist. You know it's necessary, but you probably aren't looking forward to it. You may be asked questions you don't want to answer (like how often you actually floss). And finally, consistently responsible practices should reduce your stress levels about the event, make it go a lot smoother, and prevent worse problems in the future.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB chair claims joint-employment comment review not outsourced. Responding to concerns from congressional Democrats, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chair John F. Ring says his agency is not outsourcing the review of public comments on the joint-employer standard. In March, Ring wrote a letter to Bobby Scott, chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Frederica S. Wilson, chair of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor & Pensions, saying the Board has not outsourced the substantive review of comments on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on what constitutes joint employment. Instead, he said the NLRB decided "to engage temporary support on a limited, short-term basis to perform the initial sorting and coding of the public comments." He said the process ensures confidentiality protections are in place, and the Board's professionals will perform the first substantive review of the comments.

  • Workplace Trends

    NFIB speaks out against predictive scheduling laws. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) issued a statement in March in opposition to state and local laws requiring employers to provide hourly workers their work schedules weeks in advance. The organization said such laws aren't always possible or realistic for small businesses. "It severely limits owners' control over their scheduling decisions and urgent business needs," the statement said. The organization pointed to laws in Oregon, Seattle, and San Francisco and said the unpredictability of staff needs in certain industries like construction and hospitality raises concerns. "The laws not only prevent employers from adjusting to market changes, bad weather, or other demands outside their control, but they also prevent employees from picking up additional work hours at a moment's notice or requesting unanticipated time off," the statement said.

  • Christian college entitled to reject Jewish professor's application

    A recent decision from the Oregon Court of Appeals upholds a Christian college's decision not to hire a Jewish applicant to teach a psychology course under the state's religious preference law. How closely connected the employment must be to the religious institution's purpose, however, is still unclear.

  • 9th Circuit adopts common-law test for joint employment under Title VII

    The following case has sympathetic underlying facts. Farm owners hired a labor contractor to obtain foreign guest agricultural workers and furnish the legally required transportation, housing, and food, but the contractor didn't live up to its obligations. Instead, it mistreated the workers, didn't pay them as required, and forced them to live in "abysmal" conditions. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) concluded that the "common-law" test of joint employment applies under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that the farm owners could be held liable for the labor contractor's failings.

  • 9th Circuit: FCRA disclosure notice can't contain anything not required by law

    When an employer wants to obtain a credit or criminal background report on a prospective employee from a credit reporting agency, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires it to provide a specific written notice to the applicant (and obtain her consent). In a recent decision, the 9th Circuit concluded that an employer's FCRA notice was invalid because it included more information than the Act required.