Oregon News & Analysis

  • State of union: No retaliation claim without claim against employer

    A recent decision by the Oregon Court of Appeals clarifies that retaliation claims can be filed against parties other than an employee's employer, but the claim that allegedly motivated the retaliation must have been made against the employee's employer.

  • Seattle regulates employee work schedules: Is Oregon next?

    The Seattle City Council recently passed the "Secure Scheduling Ordinance," imposing significant scheduling requirements on large employers in the retail and food-services industries. Given the history of Seattle ordinances becoming city of Portland and Oregon state law, is Oregon next?

  • Time to prepare for new EEO-1 reporting requirements

    It's official: The change to employer reporting requirements the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) previously announced is now final, meaning many private employers and federal contractors will have to include summary compensation and hours-worked data in their annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1).

  • DOL finalizes paid sick leave rule for contractors

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued final regulations requiring federal contractors to provide employees with up to seven paid sick days each year. The DOL says it expects the rule to provide sick leave to 1.15 million employees, and its reach may be even broader if employers attempt to alleviate their administrative burden by offering paid sick days to all employees, rather than exclusively to those working on government contracts.

  • Rail union's remedy is arbitration, not a court action

    To minimize disruption and strikes in the transportation industry, the Railway Labor Act (RLA) prohibits covered workers from striking over "minor" disputes with their employers. Instead, arbitration is the exclusive remedy. Only "major" disputes that can't be resolved through interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement permit covered parties to sidestep the statutory mechanism for resolving grievances. A recent decision of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) affirmed the distinction, requiring that a rail union's dispute be resolved through arbitration.

  • 9th Circuit permits farmworker class action to proceed

    Claimants must demonstrate that their case meets certain requirements before a court will permit them to go forward as a class action. A recent decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all California employers) affirmed class action status for a farm worker lawsuit, rejecting the employer's challenge to class certification.

  • Agency Action

    OSHA issues new guidance on approving whistleblower settlements. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)announced in September 2016 that it has published new guidelines for approving settlements between employers and employees in whistleblower cases. The guidelines make clear that OSHA wont approve a whistleblower settlement agreement that contains provisions that may discourage whistleblowing, such as provisions that require employees to waive the right to receive a monetary award from a government-administered whistleblower award for providing a government agency with information about violations of the law. Also, OSHA wont approve agreements that require the employee to advise the employer before voluntarily communicating with the government or to affirm that the employee isnt a whistleblower.

  • Oregon employee can sue supervisor for on-the-job injury

    A recent decision from the Oregon Court of Appeals is a reminder that employees injured on the job may not be limited to making a workers' compensation claim but may be able to sue their employer or even a coworker directly.

  • School can't decide to arbitrate 17 months into litigation

    A recent decision of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) sounds a cautionary note to employers that have arbitration agreements with employees governing any workplace disputes. Waiting too long after a lawsuit has been filed to seek arbitration may waive the right to move the action from court to an arbitral forum.

  • NLRA bars 'separate proceedings' for arbitration of wage and hour claims

    May an employer require workers to agree to arbitrate all employment disputes in "separate proceedings"? Not if the requirement interferes with the employees' ability to act together in addressing issues related to terms and conditions of their employment. According to a recent 2-1 decision of the 9th Circuit, denial of a collective action by employees for their mutual benefit runs afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).