Category: Oregon

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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

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

Eugene, Oregon Poised to Be Next City To Put Itself On Paid Employee Sick Leave Map

Not to be outdone by its neighbors to the north–Portland and Seattle–Eugene, Oregon appears poised to become the next jurisdiction to pass an ordinance requiring employers to provide employees working within city limits with paid sick leave. A coalition of pro-sick leave advocacy groups, including Portland-based Family Forward, first brought the topic before the council in February. A majority of council … Continue Reading

Happy New Year from the Oregon Legislature: New Employment Laws To Watch Out For in 2014

Today we continue with our recent New Years theme.  Not to be outdone by their neighbors to the south, the Oregon Legislature was also busy in 2013.  And now that 2014 is upon us so too are a slew of new Oregon employment laws. In areas ranging from social media to sick leave, Oregon employers should carefully review their policies and practices … Continue Reading

Top 25 FAQs Employers May Have About Implementing the New Portland Paid Sick Leave Ordinance in 2014

In March 2013, the Portland City Council passed the new Portland Paid Sick Leave Ordinance requiring all but the smallest employers to provide paid sick leave (“PSL”) for employees who work within city limits. On November 1, the city released final regulations interpreting the Ordinance and fleshing out some of the requirements in more detail. Also, the … Continue Reading

Oregon Court of Appeals Continues Debate About Status of Wrongful Discharge Claims In Oregon in Kemp v. Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc.

Last week the Oregon Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Kemp v. Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc., holding that the plaintiff’s common law wrongful discharge claim was not precluded by the statutory remedies then available under Oregon or federal anti-discrimination laws, and that claim could properly be decided by a jury.  The case is another wrinkle … Continue Reading

Oregon Legislature Passes HB 2654 Prohibiting Employers From Requiring Access To Employee Social Media Accounts

Coming as no big surprise since other states, like Utah and California, have been passing similar laws, the President of the Oregon Senate recently signed the final version of HB 2654, which will prohibit Oregon employers from compelling employees or applicants to provide access to personal social media accounts, like FaceBook or Twitter.  The law … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit’s Standing Committee on Federal Public Defenders Finds DOMA and Oregon’s Measure 36 to be Unconstitutional

A single Ninth Circuit judge, in his capacity as chair of the Circuit’s Standing Committee on Federal Public Defenders (“the Standing Committee”), recently ruled in the unpublished decision of In the Matter of Alison Clark that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) and Oregon’s Measure 36 violate the United States and Oregon Constitutions by … Continue Reading

Portland City Council Approves Sick Leave Ordinance

We previously advised you that the Portland City Council was considering an ordinance that would require Portland employers to provide sick leave to employees. The Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance on Wednesday, meaning that Portland will now join a handful of jurisdictions (including Connecticut, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.) that require employers to … Continue Reading

Oregon Supreme Court Takes Another Big Bite Out of the At-Will Employment Doctrine in Cocchiara v. Lithia Motors

Most people understand that employment in Oregon, as in most states, is at will, meaning that either the employer or the employee can end the relationship at any time for any reason or no reason at all, absent a contractual, statutory, or constitutional requirement to the contrary.  Of course, that last clause provides that there … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Interprets Definition of “Independent Contractor” Under ORS 670.600

A new case from the Oregon Court of Appeals, Compressed Pattern LLC v. Employment Department, provides some clarity about the “maintain a separate business location” prong of Oregon’s unique independent contractor statute, ORS 670.600. First, the facts.  In the summer of 2009, a design company retained a recently-laid-off architectural intern to provide drafting services on … Continue Reading

Oregon Court of Appeals Upholds Wrongful Discharge Claim By Whistleblowing Prison Guard

Is the Oregon Court of Appeals back in the wrongful-discharge business? It’s a fair question to ask after the court’s decision last week in Lucas v. Lake County, –Or. App.– (2012).  Reversing the trial court’s motion to dismiss, the court held that a sheriff’s deputy who served as a correctional officer could sue for wrongful discharge … Continue Reading

Oregon Court of Appeals Upholds Enforceability of Employer Arbitration Agreement

In the recent case Hatkoff v. Portland Adventist Medical Center, the Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed enforcement of a company arbitration provision in an employee handbook requiring that a former employee bring his employment discrimination claims in binding arbitration. The Court’s opinion offers a straight-forward application of the law regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements, and … Continue Reading

2011 Update: Compliance and regulatory considerations in implementing your value based interventions

Please join Stoel Rives Partners Ed Reeves and Bob Thompson as they present "2011 Update: Compliance and regulatory considerations in implementing your value based interventions" an Oregon Coalition of Health Care Purchasers educational seminar and national webcast. This seminar focuses on understanding the federal law traps and pitfalls associated with the use of incentives and … Continue Reading

Victory For Employers in Washington Medical Marijuana Case

In a victory for employers, the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act (“MUMA”) does not protect medical marijuana users from adverse hiring or disciplinary decisions based on an employer’s drug test policy. Click here to download a copy of the decision in Roe v. Teletech Customer Care Management. The lawsuit and … Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana and Zero Tolerance Drug Testing Policies Remain An Issue For Employers

Employers and the courts continue to wrestle with issues involving “zero tolerance” drug testing policies and whether employers must accommodate medical marijuana use by their employees. Marijuana use is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and therefore does not need to be accommodated under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). However, 15 states currently have … Continue Reading

Oregon: 2011 Legislative Session Preview

Oregon’s 76th Legislative Assembly convened on February 1, 2011. The Legislature has wasted no time introducing a multitude of new labor and employment bills, some with potentially far reaching effects. Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the more interesting bills up for debate: Civil Rights: HB 2035 — Standardizes statute of limitations period for filing … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives/SHRM Ninth Annual Labor and Employment Conference!

Please join us for our Ninth Annual Stoel Rives/SHRM Labor and Employment Law Conference on March 10 at the Oregon Convention Center!  This year’s theme is "HR Horror Show." We have an all star lineup this year, including keynote speaker David Rabiner, lunchtime speaker Ed Reeves, and a variety of presentations by Stoel Rives attorneys on … Continue Reading

Oregon Supreme Court Allows Greater Punitive Damage Award in Some Employment Cases

The Oregon Supreme Court has recognized an exception to limits on punitive damage awards in certain employment cases where the compensatory damages are low.  In Hamlin v. Hampton Lumber Mills, Inc., the Oregon Supreme Court considered the case of a plaintiff who was injured on the job and whose employer failed to reinstate him as required … Continue Reading

Oregon Minimum Wage to Rise to $8.50/Hour in 2011

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries recently announced that Oregon’s minimum wage will increase by ten cents to $8.50 an hour effective January 1, 2011.  Oregon’s minimum wage has been $8.40 an hour since January 1, 2009.  Click here to read Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s press release on the minimum wage increase.  As a … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Oregon Mandatory Meeting Law

Last week a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit aimed at blocking SB 519, the Oregon law the prohibits employers from requiring employees to attend meeting about, among other things, labor unions.  Click here to read the District of Oregon’s opinion in Associated Oregon Industries v. Avakian.  SB 519, passed by the Oregon legislature in 2009, … Continue Reading

Oregon Supreme Court: Employers Are Not Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana

Yesterday the Oregon Supreme Court conclusively ruled that employers are not required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace, ending years of doubt and confusion on this critical issue. Click here to read the Court’s opinion in Emerald Steel Fabricators, Inc. v. Bureau of Labor and Industries. In Emerald Steel, a drill … Continue Reading
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