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City of Seattle Proposes New Ordinance Regulating Employee Scheduling

Seattle restaurants and retail employers may soon face significant restrictions on employee scheduling.  The Seattle City Council is currently considering a proposed ordinance with the potential to impact hundreds of employers across the City.  Following are the basics of the proposed legislation. What employers would be covered by the proposed ordinance? Retail employers and large … Continue Reading

Portland, Oregon’s More Restrictive “Ban the Box” Ordinance

Portland, Oregon’s new “ban the box” ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2016.  We blogged about Oregon’s statewide “ban the box” law here.  Portland’s new ordinance is more restrictive and prohibits covered employers from conducting criminal background checks until after a conditional job offer is made.  Detailed information about the new ordinance is available … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to Seattle minimum wage law

On May 2, 2016, The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the legal challenge to the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance’s impact on Seattle franchisees (IFA v. Seattle–denial of cert).  We have blogged about Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance (“Ordinance”) before. The Ordinance requires large businesses, defined as those with more than 500 employees, to raise the minimum … Continue Reading

California Employers Must Carefully Reconsider Whether Employees Can Be Provided With “Suitable Seats” In Light of New Decision

A recent California Supreme Court decision has the potential to affect all California employees who are required to stand while performing parts of their job.  In response to numerous lawsuits brought by cashiers, retail employees, bank tellers and other employees, the California Supreme Court clarified the meaning of a decades-old law that requires employers to … Continue Reading

Utah Passes Bill Regulating Non-Competes

After heated debate between legislators and among the business community, the Utah state legislature has passed HB 251, the Post-Employment Restrictions Act.  As passed, the Act prohibits “post-employment restrictive covenants” with restrictive periods longer than one year.  The Act defines a “post-employment restrictive covenant” (also identified in the statute as a “covenant not to compete” … Continue Reading

Utah Provides Additional Protections for Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women in the Workplace

The Utah Legislature has passed SB 59, which amends the Utah Antidiscrimination Act to provide additional protections for pregnant and breastfeeding women in the workplace. This law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees upon request for conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, unless doing so would create an “undue hardship.”  Employers are … Continue Reading

“Employer-Friendly” Utah Legislature Considers Regulating Non-Compete Agreements

Many employers in Utah use non-competition agreements to protect their confidential information, customer relationships and investment in employee training and development. In a somewhat surprising move, the usually employer-friendly Utah State legislature has signaled its willingness to join California and a handful of other states in attempting to regulate these kinds of agreements. The Utah … Continue Reading

New California Employment Laws for 2016

Now that the calendar has turned to 2016, this is a good time for employers in California to ensure that they are up to speed on the new laws that took effect on January 1.  Here are some of the highlights. SB 358 (Gender Wage Differential) Existing law already prohibits employers from paying women less … Continue Reading

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
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