A few weeks ago, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced a bill to implement a 32-hour workweek.  While such a law is a long way from becoming a reality, it does raise interesting questions concerning exactly what a 32-hour workweek would look like, especially in California.

Before engaging in this thought experiment one thing should be

On January 18, 2024, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills to decide the question of whether California trial courts have inherent authority to strike claims brought under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) on the grounds that the claims were not manageable.  The Court ultimately upheld the appellate court’s holding, which we previously discussed in detail here, finding that trial courts do not have such inherent authority.Continue Reading California Supreme Court Sweeps PAGA Manageability Under the Rug in Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills

In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and persistent staffing challenges, both Oregon and Washington have enacted legislation to reshape how healthcare institutions plan for and staff their facilities. While addressing the same issue, the two states have taken distinct approaches. Oregon’s House Bill 2697, signed by Governor Tina Kotek, introduces stringent nurse-to-patient ratios

An advisory jury’s substantial front pay award to a plaintiff in a retaliation case was drastically reduced by the judge.

Last fall, a jury sat for a five-day trial in federal court in Boise, Idaho. The plaintiff had brought claims of sex discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against her former employer. She brought these claims under both federal law, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), and state law, the Idaho Human Rights Act (“IHRA”). By the time the case went to trial, two questions remained for the jury: Did the plaintiff prove her retaliation claim under state and federal law? If so, what were her damages? 

After deliberation, the jury found that (1) the plaintiff had shown retaliation, and (2) her damages were a stunning $300,000 in back pay plus $1.35 million in front pay, for a total of $1.65 million in damages (plus prejudgment interest and possible attorney fees and costs award).[1]

But that’s not where the case ended. Just recently, the judge decreased the front pay award by over a million dollars, from $1.35 million to $130,333.Continue Reading $1.65 Million “Advisory” Jury Award in Idaho Employment Case

Introduction

With its decision in Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (“Adolph”) the California Supreme Court has reignited the debate surrounding arbitration agreements containing waivers of an employee’s right to bring a representative action under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”).  This ruling, which challenges the earlier decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (“Viking River Cruises”), marks a significant shift back in favor of employees and their ability to pursue PAGA claims notwithstanding the existence of a written waiver. Continue Reading Driving the Narrative: California Supreme Court’s Adolph v. Uber Technologies Decision Shifts Gears, Challenging U.S. Supreme Court’s Viking River Cruises v. Moriana Holding

Senate Bill 999, designed to align Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) with the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), passed the Oregon Legislature on June 1, 2023, and is expected to be signed by Governor Kotek shortly. The bill makes the following changes:

Rolling Forward Leave Year: Effective July 1, 2024, employers must use a “rolling

Minnesota’s new law will take effect on July 1, 2023, prohibiting all noncompete agreements, except those entered during the sale of a business or in anticipation of the dissolution of a business. The law will not apply retroactively to void existing noncompete agreements and will not prohibit the continued use of non-solicitation, confidentiality, trade secret

On May 10, 2023, the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) announced that, effective May 11, it is suspending the statewide rule requiring that health care workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have an approved medical or religious exception. The news coincides with the end of the federal public health emergency on May 11, along

In a recent decision titled Buero v. Amazon.com Services, Inc.­­, 370 Or. 502 (2022),  the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that Oregon’s wage and hour law uses the same definition of “work time” as the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The Buero decision resolves what had been a hotly contested legal issue for many years and clarifies that Oregon employers (most of which are subject to Oregon law and the FLSA) satisfy their legal obligation to calculate employees’ compensable time using the same legal standard for both sets of laws.  Continue Reading Oregon Supreme Court Rules That Oregon Law Follows Federal Definition of “Work Time.”