Oregon News & Analysis

  • Whew! Glad that's over: Oregon Legislature completes 2015 session

    Although 2015 wasn't a banner year for Oregon employers at the state legislature, it could have been worse. Only a few bills actually made it through because the focus was on passing a statewide sick leave law. However, some significant proposed laws could have made things a lot worse for employers. This article looks at what happened, what could have happened, and what might happen in the near future.

  • 9th Circuit reinstates indigent claimant's Title VII case

    Indigent employees filing suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may seek to file a lawsuit in federal court in forma pauperis (IFP)—Latin terminology indicating they can't afford to pay the normal filing fee and associated costs. But a court's decision on the employee's financial status may be delayed, confusing the question of whether an action was filed within the required timeline. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) recently dealt with that situation, concluding the employee's case should be permitted to proceed.

  • Public employee complaints not protected by First Amendment

    Public employers are barred from retaliating against employees for exercising their First Amendment rights. But when a public employee's speech is focused on his own employment gripes, constitutional protections don't come into play. That's the reason the 9th Circuit recently upheld the dismissal of a wrongful discharge claim by a former employee of the city of San Francisco.

  • No change for employers after the Supreme Court's latest ACA decision

    Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, there have been a variety of judicial challenges to it, and this term, the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the law for the third time. The Court previously examined issues relating to the law's individual mandate and its contraceptive mandate. This time, in a 6-3 opinion, the Court decided that ACA tax credits are available to individuals in states that have federal exchanges. Essentially, this means nothing has changed for employers regarding their ACA requirements.

  • 9th Circuit nixes Title VII, ADEA claims against Nike subsidiary

    Can an American citizen employed in Europe file employment discrimination claims under U.S. law in a U.S. court? That was the question reviewed by the 9th Circuit in considering the claims of an employee let go by the Netherlands-based subsidiary of Nike. Although the answer depends on the specific circumstances, here it was no.

  • DOL issues guidance on employee vs. independent contractor classification

    Determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor can be a confusing (and, if done incorrectly, costly) endeavor. Though some employers may knowingly misclassify workers to reduce costs and avoid the burden of certain employment laws, it is equally—if not more—likely that the fact-specific multipart classification tests used for this purpose have simply confused well-meaning employers into getting it wrong.

  • Threatening to enforce an invalid Oregon noncompete is not unlawful

    The Oregon Court of Appeals recently ruled that an employer that threatened to enforce a noncompetition agreement that didn't comply with Oregon law wasn't liable for intentionally interfering with a former employee's employment prospects.

  • New proposed overtime rules are call to action for employers

    Just in time for the 4th of July holiday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its long-awaited proposed changes to the rules for determining which employees are exempt from overtime requirements. This is the first major overhaul of the overtime rules since 2004, and you need to understand and plan for the impact the proposed changes will have on your organization.

  • 9th Circuit orders second look at class action settlement of wage claims

    Because a class action potentially affects the rights of individuals who aren't actively involved in the litigation, the settlement of such claims requires court approval. And when some class members object to the settlement terms, special scrutiny is required. That's why the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) recently sent a class action settlement back to the trial court for another look at the fairness of the deal.

  • 9th Circuit parses RLA to determine applicable bargaining rules

    The Railway Labor Act (RLA) regulates labor relations in the rail and air industries with a goal of minimizing work disputes that could disrupt travel and transport. The rules are complicated and somewhat arcane, as amply illustrated by a recent decision of the 9th Circuit.