Oregon News & Analysis

  • Washington court strikes down employer's arbitration agreement

    The Washington Court of Appeals recently held that the manner in which an employer communicates its arbitration agreement is crucial for determining whether it is valid and enforceable. You should carefully review your arbitration agreements to ensure you are compliant with the court's new decision.

  • Preferred remedy proves awkward for Arizona Senate

    When it crafted the remedies for employment discrimination and retaliation in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress authorized courts to "order such affirmative action as may be appropriate," including the employee's reinstatement to a former job. It has long been established in the 9th Circuit (which includes Arizona), as well as most other federal circuits, that reinstatement is in fact the preferred remedy when it's feasible.

  • What's your EQ, and why does it matter?

    Liam walks into an important meeting and sits down. Within minutes, the group's attention is on him and his division. One of the top executives asks him a tough question, and he freezes. The executives infer that Liam isn't as competent as they believed. They fail to realize he is a high performer and that his team has great respect for him.

  • SCOTUS' upcoming Title VII decision won't affect Nevada employers

    In October 2019, employers across the country watched eagerly as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a suite of cases that revolve around a single question: Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (one of the primary federal laws addressing discrimination in the workplace) prohibit discrimination against gay and transgender employees? As we await the Court's ruling, expected sometime next spring, let's take a look at the issue and what employers can do to address it.

  • Handling office romance in #MeToo era: Know your options

    As Valentine's Day nears, love is in the air—and oftentimes in the workplace. Although workplace romance is common, it can make HR professionals fret about all the what-ifs. What if a relationship is between a supervisor and a direct report? What if rumors of favoritism poison the workplace environment? What if one or both participants is married to someone else? What if a couple's public displays of affection make coworkers uncomfortable? What if a relationship goes sour and the breakup affects morale? And perhaps the most important question to consider: What if a relationship is one-sided and is more accurately described as sexual harassment instead of consensual?

  • Something lacking in your workplace? Boosting soft skills can help

    Anyone involved in recruiting and hiring knows the importance of assessing a candidate's skills. Does the candidate have the right training, experience, and credentials to do the job? But anyone in charge of hiring (or maybe even rehabilitating already-employed workers who aren't quite measuring up) knows that merely evaluating a candidate's hard skills isn't enough. More and more, employers are finding "soft skills" are essential in the workplace.

  • Moving on: adopting a proactive employee mobility strategy

    These days, almost all employers—and, in particular, employers in New Hampshire—are engaged in something of a multidimensional war. There's as intense a competition being waged for talented employees, skilled workers, and seasoned executives as at any time in our history. At the same time, two issues animate and confuse the competition for talent.

  • Proposed Title IX rule changes provide clarity, support, due process rights

    More than a year ago, in November 2018, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released its proposal for improving schools' responses to sexual harassment and sexual assaults. A proposed Title IX regulation—Title IX is the civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education programs or activities that receive federal funding—has been in the works over the past year with input from students, sexual assault advocates, school administrators, and other stakeholders and strong support from DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos. The rule, which still isn't final, takes important, and controversial, steps toward defining sexual harassment under Title IX and clarifying how it should be reported and investigated, while ensuring due process protections are in place for all students.

  • Q - A: Employee arrested—now what?

    Q One of our employees has been arrested but not convicted. It doesn't appear he's going to be released in the near future. Is it better to put him in an unpaid "leave" status or fire him?<

  • Federal Watch

    NLRB releases 2019 case-processing data. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced progress in case processing in three of its divisions for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The Office of Appeals, which reviews appeals by employers, unions, and individuals who believe their unfair labor practice allegations have been wrongly dismissed by an NLRB regional office, reduced its backlog of cases from 294 in FY 2018 to 98 in FY 2019. The Division of Advice, which provides guidance to the regional offices on difficult and novel issues arising in the processing of unfair labor practice charges, reduced the average age of closed cases for FY 2019 to 38.6 days, a 9.8% reduction from FY 2018. The Board's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Branch processes all FOIA requests made to the agency. In FY 2019, the branch reported that it responded within 20 working days to 67.5% of FOIA requests and 90% of FOIA appeals.