Oregon News & Analysis

  • 9th Circuit allows representation claim against union

    When a union worker objects to being let go, she typically is able to file a grievance and, if necessary, have the matter resolved through binding arbitration. But if the union fails to pursue her claim, she has the option of filing a federal lawsuit against both the employer for violating the collective bargaining agreement and the union for not pressing her claim. The 9th Circuit recently reversed a trial court's decision and held that a worker's claims against her union could proceed.

  • Airport employer violated RLA in attempt to oust union

    The Railway Labor Act (RLA) was enacted to keep labor issues from disrupting the nation's railroad and air industries by providing mechanisms for dispute resolution. Some RLA provisions are similar to those of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), but the RLA applies only to specified transportation employers. The 9th Circuit recently came down in favor of a union in an RLA case involving an airport employer's efforts to get rid of the union.

  • EEOC guidance delves into intricacies of national origin discrimination

    Discrimination based on national origin has been unlawful since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lately, however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has seen an uptick in the number of national origin discrimination claims. In fiscal year 2015, approximately 11 percent of the 89,385 private-sector charges filed with the agency included claims of national origin discrimination.

  • Overtime changes nixed for now, possibly forever, but here's what to do next

    So you've heard about the Texas federal district court's decision stopping the new overtime regulations that were set to go into effect December 1, 2016. You'd spent the previous several weeks or even months gearing up for the change. First, know that everyone is in the same boat. The ruling caught almost everyone by surprise, particularly because it came so close to the deadline. Many employers had already planned for, announced, or even implemented the changes.

  • Starbucks baristas' tax-withholding claims belong in Oregon court

    The 9th Circuit recently required that a class action lawsuit be sent back to state court because the federal trial court had no authority to act on the claims presented.

  • Agency Action

    Time for employers to use revised Form I-9. Employers must now use the revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (dated November 14, 2016), according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Among the changes in the new version, Section 1 asks for other last names used rather than other names used, and it streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals. Other changes include the addition of prompts designed to ensure information is entered correctly, the ability to enter multiple preparers and translators, a dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins, and a supplemental page for the preparer/translator.

  • Workplace Trends

    Glassdoor studies gender pay gap in tech. The gender pay gap in the tech industry is real even when researchers use a control for men and women choosing to work in different roles, according to the chief economist at Glassdoor. In a November post on Glassdoors economic research blog, Andrew Chamberlain said millions of the companys salary reports from around the world show the gap even after adjusting for factors such as age, education, years of experience, location, year, job title, and company. Among 16 of the tech roles for which Glassdoor has data, 12 had gender pay gaps above the U.S. adjusted average pay gap of 5.4%.

  • Union Activity

    Unions speak out against court action on overtime rule. Labor interests voiced their disapproval of a Texas federal judges action in November that thwarted a new overtime rule from taking effect on December 1, 2016. The judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the rule change, which would have made millions more workers eligible for overtime. Under the new rule, workers earning less than $913 a week wouldnt qualify for exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Therefore, they would be eligible for overtime pay. President Obamas decision to update the overtime thresholdwhich previous presidents have made with no legal challengewas proper, legal, and well within his authority, Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said after the November 23 court decision. This decision was wrongly decided and should be overturned. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters also issued a statement criticizing the judges decision. The Teamsters statement said the rule change would have stopped employers f

  • Is paid family leave next for Oregon?

    Oregon legislators are in the process of submitting proposals for new legislation. Will paid family leave be among them?

  • 9th Circuit requires arbitration in Uber drivers' lawsuits

    Workers who agree to arbitrate any claims that may develop sometimes later decide they would prefer to have their day in court. The result is an array of court decisions on the question of whether particular arbitration agreements will be enforced. A recent decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) required Uber drivers who had filed two lawsuits to submit most of their claims to arbitration.