Oregon News & Analysis

  • BOLI's new regs clarify Oregon's overtime law for manufacturers

    The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has issued new regulations that provide some clarity on Oregon's overtime law for manufacturing facilities.

  • 9th Circuit again reverses NLRB in 20-year-old unfair labor practice case

    For over 20 years, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) played back-and-forth with a case addressing whether two casinos were allowed to stop deducting union dues when the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) with the employees' unions expired. Read on for the (hopefully) final result.

  • Probationary officer's discharge for affair with other officer ruled unconstitutional

    A probationary police officer began having an affair with a fellow officer. When her paramour's estranged wife complained to the police department, the department fired her. The officer sued, claiming the department fired her in violation of her constitutional right to privacy and because of her gender. Let's see what the 9th Circuit had to say about her case.

  • Handling sexual orientation discrimination in confusing legal landscape

    In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that sexual harassment could be perpetrated by a man against another man or a woman against another woman. When that decision was issued, many commentators pondered whether discriminating against or harassing someone because of her sexual orientation also violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Who would have thought that 20 years later, there still wouldn't be a clear answer to that question?

  • If a picture paints a thousand words, what's wrong with emojis?

    What do a pair of scissors and an eggplant have in common? At first glance, the answer would appear to be "nothing." But what if I told you that in combination, they can constitute a threat of bodily harm?

  • Agency Action

    EEOC approves new strategic plan. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced the approval of its strategic plan for fiscal years 2018-2022. The agency said the plan serves as a framework for achieving its mission through the strategic application of its law enforcement authorities, preventing employment discrimination and promoting inclusive workplaces through education and outreach, and organizational excellence. Those objectives have associated performance measures detailing outcomes to be achieved during the four-year period the plan is in effect. The outcomes are designed to demonstrate the EEOCs progress in carrying out its mission in a time of shrinking resources and increasing demand for its services.

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey finds most jobseekers dont negotiate salary. A survey from staffing firm Robert Half finds that 39% of workers tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last job offer. More than 2,700 workers in 27 U.S. cities were surveyed for the study, which found that 46% of men negotiated salary compared to 34% of women. Workers ages 18 to 34 (45%) were found more likely to negotiate salary than those ages 35 to 54 (40%) and 55 or older (30%). Jobseekers in New York City (55%), Dallas (51%), and San Francisco (50%) were most likely to ask for more pay. Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, noted that employers are broaching the subject of salary expectations earlier in interviews to streamline the hiring process.

  • Oregon Court of Appeals allows unlimited noneconomic damages

    In two recent decisions, the Oregon Court of Appeals significantly limited the state statutory cap on noneconomic damages (i.e., emotional distress damages), exposing employers to millions of dollars in potential liability. The cap limited the amount of noneconomic damages juries could award. The court of appeals, however, found that the statutory cap was unconstitutional as applied in both cases. The two decisions likely will be reviewed by the Oregon Supreme Court.

  • Title VII permits award to be 'grossed up' for income tax consequences

    Joining the 3rd, 7th, and 10th Circuits, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) recently ruled that trial judges have the discretion to adjust damages awards under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to account for higher income taxes the plaintiff will pay on a lump-sum amount received in one year versus what the taxes would have been if the amount had been paid over several years. This is sometimes referred to as "grossing up" the award for tax consequences.

  • 9th Circuit snips beauty school students' wage and hour claims

    In a recent case, the 9th Circuit rejected the test published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for determining whether interns are "employees" under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Agreeing with other circuits that have considered the matter, the 9th Circuit panel decided that, in the context of student workers, the proper test is the "primary beneficiary" analysis. Under that test, the beauty school students in question weren't employees protected by federal or state wage and hour laws.