Category: States

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SHRM Quotes Adam Belzberg and Wes Miliband on the Effects of Drought on California’s Agricultural Labor Market

Stoel Rives labor and employment attorney Adam Belzberg and water resources attorney Wes Miliband were quoted in a Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) article titled “California Drought Has Wide-Ranging Effects in Business Community.” The article examines the effects of California’s long-lasting drought on the state’s job market, specifically on the agricultural and food manufacturing sectors. … Continue Reading

Tacoma, Washington Paid Employee Sick Leave Law Goes Into Effect in February 2016

Flu season is fast approaching, and this winter, Tacoma employers will join Seattle employers in being required to provide paid sick leave. On February 1, 2016, Tacoma’s new paid sick leave ordinance goes into effect.  As we have blogged about before, Tacoma is just the latest of a number of state and local jurisdictions around … Continue Reading

Anti-Arbitration Bill Approved by California Legislature

* October 11, 2015 Update: Governor Brown announced he has vetoed AB 465 On August 27, 2015, the California Assembly approved AB 465. The bill, which was approved by the California Senate on August 24, would prohibit California employers from requiring most individuals to enter into arbitration agreements as a condition of their employment. For … Continue Reading

California Court Limits Defenses Available to Employers Requesting Employee Background Checks

Background checks can provide California employers with vital information concerning their employees. In order to protect individual privacy rights, however, the California legislature has created two separate laws governing the procedure for such checks: the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (“ICRAA”), which generally governs reports concerning “character information,” and the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act … Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit Joins Its Sister Circuits in Ruling That an Employee Who Threatens Co-Workers with Violence Is Not “Qualified” Under the ADA

The Ninth Circuit released a precedent-setting Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) decision yesterday, and it’s a big win for employers.  The Court held that an employee who makes “serious and credible threats of violence toward his co-workers” is not a “qualified individual with a disability” and therefore cannot state a claim under the ADA or … Continue Reading

Oregon’s New “Ban the Box” Law Prohibits Criminal History Questions on Employment Applications

It’s been an active legislative session in Oregon this year regarding laws affecting the state’s employers.  Hot on the heels of enacting laws relating to paid sick leave, noncompete agreements, and employee privacy on social media, Governor Kate Brown also recently signed into law House Bill 3025.  That law will make it illegal for most employers to … Continue Reading

Oregon Enacts State-Wide Paid Employee Sick Leave Which (Mostly) Replaces Local Ordinances in Portland and Eugene

Governor Kate Brown signed into law the new Oregon Paid Sick Leave (“OPSL”) law enacted by the Legislature on June 12. The new law becomes effective January 1, 2016. Oregon is the fourth state to enact a state-wide paid sick leave law after Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California. The text of the OPSL is available here. … Continue Reading

Oregon Tightens the Screws on Noncompetes: 18 Months Will Soon Be the Maximum Period of Restriction

As we blogged about earlier, courts in most states just plain don’t like employee noncompete agreements. Particularly when it comes to mid- and low-level employees, courts worry that enforcing a noncompete agreement will hamper innovation, restrict competition, and unfairly burden a former employee’s ability to earn a living. For that reason, a court typically will … Continue Reading

Oregon Legislature to Employers: Stay Out of Employees’ Personal Social Media Accounts!

As we noted a while ago, Oregon recently joined the growing number of states that prohibit an employer from demanding access to an employee’s personal social media account. An Oregon employer may not require an employee or applicant to disclose her username, password, or “other means of authentication that provides access to a personal social … Continue Reading

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing of Medical Marijuana User

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-0 decision that Colorado’s “lawful activities statute,” which provides protections to employees who engage in lawful off-duty conduct, only applies to conduct that is lawful under both state and federal law. The Court’s decision in Coats v. Dish Network, which can be accessed here, involved a quadriplegic … Continue Reading

San Francisco Is About to Begin Enforcing the Retail Workers Bill of Rights – Are You in Compliance?

On July 3, 2015, the San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of Rights becomes operative. This ordinance creates major changes for many companies doing business in San Francisco. Employers Affected The law applies to “formula retail” businesses with (a) 20 or more locations worldwide, and (b) 20 or more employees in San Francisco, as well as … Continue Reading

Utah LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law Goes Into Effect

The folks at KUER ran a report yesterday on Utah’s ground breaking LGBT antidiscrimination law, which went into effect yesterday. Titled the Antidiscrimination and Religious Freedom Act, the law prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity on the same terms as discrimination on the basis of race, gender, national origin … Continue Reading

No Joke: Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Ordinance Becomes Law

Here’s a couple updates related to the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinace.  Alas for Seattle employers, this is no April Fools joke. Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Ordinance Becomes Law As we’ve blogged about before, Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance becomes law on April 1, 2015, raising the minimum hourly wage for Seattle’s lowest paid workers. On March … Continue Reading

Utah Legislators Make History, Pass LGBT Antidiscrimination/Religious Freedom Bill

Utah legislators made national headlines last night when they approved a bill providing antidiscrimination protections to LGBT employees coupled with protections for religious expression in the workplace. Titled the Utah Antidiscrimination and Religious Freedom Act (the “Act”), the bill received support from across Utah’s political spectrum, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the … Continue Reading

AB 1897: California’s New Labor Contracting and Client Liability Law

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 1897 thereby creating new liability for businesses that engage in labor contracting.  Current California law prohibits employers from entering into labor or services contracts with a construction, farm labor, garment, janitorial, security guard, or warehouse contractor, if the employer knows or should know that the agreement does not … Continue Reading

What Does Alaska’s and Oregon’s Legalization of Marijuana Change for Employers? Answer: Probably Not Much.

In this week’s mid-term election on November 4, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia became the latest jurisdictions to pass referendums decriminalizing the recreational possession and use of small amounts of marijuana.  They join Colorado and Washington, which took this step in 2012.  Oregon’s law becomes effective in July 2015; Alaska’s probably in February 2015. … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Finds Employer’s Discretionary Bonus Not Unlawful “Rebate” Under Wage Rebate Act (“WRA”)

In a 5-4 decision, the Washington Supreme Court has ruled in an employer’s favor and clarified what are, and are not, statutory “wages” and unlawful wage “rebates” under Washington State’s Wage Rebate Act (“WRA”), RCW 49.52 et seq.  The case is LaCoursiere v. CamWest Development, No. 88298-3 (Wash. Oct. 23, 2014) (slip op.).  Camwest Development … Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing California’s Paid Sick Leave with LXBN TV

My colleague Bryan Hawkins recently discussed California’s new paid sick leave law with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN. You can catch the interview on the clip below. As Bryan noted in his original post, California is the second state in the nation (after Connecticut) to enact a state-wide law requiring most employers to provide paid sick leave to employees, marking the latest … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Rules Employers Must Reimburse Employees For Work Calls on Personal Cell Phones

The California Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc.  was simple.  When employees must use their personal cell phones for work, California law requires employers to reimburse them, regardless of whether the cell phone plans are for limited or unlimited minutes.  This decision, however, could have a wide ranging impact … Continue Reading

California Enacts State-Wide Paid Employee Sick Leave Law

On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1522 (the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014”) and made California the second state in the nation (after Connecticut) to enact a state-wide law requiring most California employers to provide paid sick leave to employees.  This marks the latest development in a growing trend that … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies When a Franchisee’s Employees Can Bring Employment Claims Against the Franchisor in Taylor Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC

In Taylor Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, the California Supreme Court restricted the ability of a franchisee’s employees to sue the franchisor based on theories of vicarious liability and the theory that the franchisor was an “employer” under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). With this decision, franchisors can breathe a sigh of relief as … Continue Reading

9th Cir. Finds FedEx Delivery Drivers Are Employees, Not Contractors

Last week, the 9th Circuit held in two related cases from California and Oregon that FedEx misclassified approximately 2,600 delivery truck drivers as independent contractors, rather than as employees. The cases—Alexander v. FedEx and Slayman v. FedEx—are an important reminder for employers that reality matters more than labels when it comes to classifying workers.  On that … Continue Reading