Oregon News & Analysis

  • What's happening with Oregon's minimum wage

    There is growing pressure around the country to increase the minimum wage. In Oregon, which already has the second-highest minimum wage in the country, the legislature is considering numerous minimum wage bills. It's anybody's guess what will happen.

  • 9th Circuit says auto dealership service reps may seek overtime

    It's risky for an employer to treat a group of employees as exempt from overtime even when they appear to fall within the exemption guidelines from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). That was the lesson delivered in a recent decision from the 9th Circuit. Service advisers at a California auto dealership may now proceed with overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  • Supreme Court carves middle ground in high-profile pregnancy discrimination case

    When Peggy Young, a delivery driver for UPS, became pregnant in 2006, her doctor placed her on lifting restrictions. She requested an accommodation to work light duty, but UPS denied her request because her need for accommodation didn't fall within the three classes of workers for which it consistently reserved light-duty work: those injured on the job, those with disabilities protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and those who had lost their federal driving certifications. Because UPS required drivers to be able to lift at least 70 pounds, Young was placed on leave without pay and benefits.

  • Prepare for stormy weather with sound policies and communication

    It didn't take long for 2015 to demonstrate that it has some exciting weather adventures in store for the United States. As if on cue, once Punxsutawney Phil predicted that six more weeks of winter were in store, parts of New England were buried in record-breaking snowfalls for three weeks in a row. Even parts of the South, usually spared from winter's icy blast, were quite literally frozen in place as an ice storm shut down power, roads, airports, and businesses and even created a state of emergency in Tennessee.

  • New DOL rule will simplify FMLA administration for multistate employers

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued final regulations that will settle a confusing area of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) administration for multistate employers. The regulations, which took effect March 27, adopt the "place of celebration" rule instead of the "place of residence" rule when establishing a spousal relationship for purposes of federal medical and military leaves.

  • Discrimination at sea must be addressed in admiralty

    A special body of law applies to claims that arise on the high seas, including claims of employment discrimination. According to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers), that means a seaman working on a government-owned vessel may sue only the United States under admiralty law and not the HR director and ship captain who barred him from employment.

  • Eugene joins Portland in enacting paid sick leave

    Starting July 1, 2015, employers with employees working in Eugene will be covered by the city's new sick leave ordinance. Here are some tips for those employers.

  • 9th Circuit seeks guidance on 'day of rest' requirement

    The California Labor Code requires that workers be permitted one day out of seven as a day of rest from work. Sounds like a straightforward rule, but is it? In cases recently presented to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers), the court found that the requirement could be interpreted in various ways and decided to turn to the California Supreme Court for answers.

  • Employee has enough to take disability claims to trial

    Lots of discrimination lawsuits never get to trial because courts may dismiss an action if the evidence of a violation is so limited that there's really no issue to try. But the burden on the employee isn't particularly weighty. A recent decision of the 9th Circuit shows that little more than an employee's own account of what happened may be enough to get his case before a jury.

  • It's 2015—what's new on the immigration reform front?

    Immigration reform—it's a conversation that has ebbed, flowed, and then stagnated for years. Now that yet another year has passed without a comprehensive reform solution on the books, it's a good time for a recap on what is happening.