Oregon News & Analysis

  • Oregon employers may be surprised by Seattle minimum wage law

    Although some Oregon employers know they are covered by Seattle's minimum wage law and have begun preparations, others may be caught unawares.

  • 9th Circuit provides clarity on enforceable arbitration agreements

    If you have an arbitration procedure set out in your employee handbook, will you be able to keep claims out of court? Although the guidance from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Hawaii employers) can at times be confusing, a recent decision provided some clarity on the subject.

  • 6th Circuit delivers new precedent on telecommuting as accommodation

    In an 8-5 decision, the 6th Circuit has revisited and reversed its prior decision in a case addressing telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The case, which involved a former Ford Motor Company employee, may provide persuasive precedent to courts in other federal circuits.

  • NLRB General Counsel sets sights on common employer policies

    Creation of sound and legally compliant employee handbook policies has been something of a moving target in recent years because of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) continual review and interpretation of employee rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Section 7 gives employees the right to "self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection."

  • Stress at work: defining the line between motivation and an abusive workplace

    In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Blake is a trainer sent by corporate to motivate a sales team. In addition to offering helpful gems like the acronym ABC to remind the salesmen that they should "always be closing," he repeatedly berates them and calls them names while bragging about his own success. He tells the team about a new sales competition that week: First place gets a Cadillac, second place gets a set of steak knives, and third place gets fired.

  • Agency Action

    2016 H-1B visa cap reached. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2015, that it had reached the congressionally mandated H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2016. USCIS also announced that it had received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption. The agency will use a computer-generated process to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS said it first would randomly select petitions for the advanced degree exemption. All unselected advanced degree petitions then will become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 general limit. Filing fees are to be returned for all unselected cap-subject petitions that arent duplicate filings.

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey shows illegal interview questions common. Twenty percent of hiring managers participating in a CareerBuilder survey indicated they have asked a question in a job interview only to find out later that it was illegal to ask. More than 2,100 hiring and HR managers across industries participated in the nationwide survey conducted online from November 4 to December 2, 2014. Here are some of the questions interviewers admitted to asking: What is your religious affiliation? Are you pregnant? What is your political affiliation? What is your race, color, or ethnicity? How old are you? Are you disabled? Are you married? Do you have children or plan to? Are you in debt? Do you drink socially or smoke?

  • 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.