Oregon News & Analysis

  • 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).

  • 9th Circuit nixes judge's duplicative award in retaliation case

    When an employee wins an employment case, the jury typically decides the amount of damages. But certain claims—those labeled "equitable"—are decided by the trial judge, who may then impose a remedy. The 9th Circuit recently considered what happens when a jury awards damages and the trial judge then adds duplicative damages as an equitable remedy. The panel decided there could be no "double-dipping" and limited damages to those awarded by the jury.

  • Employers, take note: Earlier ACA filing deadlines coming in 2017

    The transitional relief offered to large employers and self-insured small employers that relaxed the filing deadlines for employee health benefits is ending. In 2017, employers will need to be prepared for earlier deadlines for submitting filings to the IRS and meeting their obligation to provide health benefit statements to employees.

  • Bonuses and the new FLSA overtime regulations

    Under the final overtime regulations released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), employers will now be able to count nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and commissions toward as much as 10% of employees' salary to determine whether they have reached the salary threshold for exemption from overtime. For these payments to count, they must be paid on a quarterly or more frequent basis. The new rules also permit employers to make a catch-up payment.

  • Agency Action

    DOL awards $1.1 million in grants to study paid leave. The U.S. Department of Labors (DOL) Womens Bureau has awarded $1.1 million in grants to research and analyze how paid leave programs can be developed and implemented across the country. The grants build on the Paid Leave Analysis Grant Program, which since 2014 has committed more than $3 million to 17 states and municipalities to support research and analysis on the implementation of paid family and medical leave programs, according to a DOL announcement. Recipients of the new grants are the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry; the Hawaii Department of Human Services; the Indiana Commission for Women; the city of Madison, Wisconsin; the city and county of Denver, Colorado; and the Franklin County, Ohio, Board of Commissioners.

  • Workplace Trends

    Study predicts loss of middle-wage jobs. A study from CareerBuilder and Emsi shows that most occupations projected to lose jobs over the next five years are middle-wage positions. Highwage and low-wage occupations are each projected to grow 5% from 2016 to 2021, but middlewage jobs are estimated to grow only 3%. At the same time, 61% of the 173 occupations expected to lose jobs over the next five years are in the middle- wage category. Low-wage jobs were defined as those that pay $13.83 per hour and below, middlewage jobs earn $13.84 through $21.13 per hour; and high-wage occupations make $21.14 per hour and higher.

  • Oregon employers must prepare now for DOL's overtime changes

    2016 is the year of the double whammy for Oregon employers. First, Oregon has begun the process of rapidly increasing its minimum wage over the next few years. Second, on May 18, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a rule revising the required minimum salary for the white-collar overtime exemptions. Effective December 1, 2016, the minimum salary level for the white-collar exemptions under federal law will more than double. Oregon employers need to prepare now to respond.

  • 9th Circuit gives sex discrimination claimant second bite at apple

    When a trial court dismisses a lawsuit "with prejudice," that means the claimant is barred from filing another action based on the same underlying situation. The second action would be blocked by the legal principle of "res judicata," signifying that the issues have already been adjudicated. But a recent decision of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Nevada employers) indicates that certain circumstances may permit a claimant a second try.