Employers can breathe a sigh of relief.  The Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) announced this week that it was removing a requirement that EEO-1 reports contain employee pay data.  The now-defunct Obama-era requirement announced in 2016 would have required employers to disclose compensation information to the EEOC regarding all employees, including executives – which many employers consider to be highly confidential.  The OMB also announced that it extended the EEO-1 reporting deadline from September 30 of this year to March 31, 2018.
Continue Reading Employers Need Not Disclose Pay Data on EEO-1 Reports; September Deadline Moved to 2018

Oregon recently passed amendments to its statewide sick time law, clearing up several areas of uncertainty for employers.  The amendments clarify that:

  • Employers may cap employees’ annual accrual of sick leave at 40 hours. The pre-amendment version of the sick leave law stated that employees had the right to “earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year,” but also mandated that employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.  At the “1 for 30” rate, full-time employees would reach the 40-hour limit well before the end of the year, leading to confusion about whether they were entitled to continue accruing sick time for the remainder of the year (which would, in effect, give them more than 40 hours of annual leave).  The amendments, which expressly state that “[e]mployers may limit the number of hours of paid sick time that employees may accrue to 40 hours per year,” make clear that continued accrual beyond 40 hours is not a requirement.  Once employees have accrued 40 hours, they are done for the year, even if there are several months left in which they will not accrue any time.

Continue Reading Oregon Amends Sick Leave Law: 5 Key Clarifications

“Equal pay for equal work.”  Everyone – employees and employers alike – can agree that no workers should be paid less than others simply because of their gender, race, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic.  But the reality of the pay gap is more complicated.  Employers make salary decisions based on a number of business factors, like experience, education, and merit, as well as prior salary history.  The Oregon Equal Pay Act (the “Act”), which was unanimously approved by the legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Kate Brown this week, will prohibit employers from asking job applicants about past salary history.
Continue Reading Time to Revise Your Job Applications: Oregon Prohibits Salary History Inquiries in Effort to Address Systemic Wage Inequality

“Who will be hurt if gays and lesbians have a little more job protection?” Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals posed this question a few months ago during oral argument in a case involving a teacher who alleged she was fired because she is lesbian.  On Tuesday, the en banc Seventh Circuit answered Judge Posner’s rhetorical question in a landmark decision holding that Title VII protects employees from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.  The court is the first court of appeals in the country to apply Title VII’s job protections to  employees on the basis of their sexual orientation, interpreting the definition of “sex” under Title VII to include “sexual orientation.”

To casual followers of the law, this decision may seem unremarkable after the Supreme Court ruled nearly two years ago that same-sex marriage enjoys constitutional protection.  (See our blog on the Obergefell decision here, and our blog on the decision’s impact on employee benefits here.)  But it is a watershed decision with ripple effects far beyond the three states within the Seventh Circuit. 
Continue Reading Landmark Seventh Circuit Decision Interprets Title VII Protections To Prohibit Sexual Orientation Discrimination

We are confident that employers already take employee reports of potentially unlawful activity seriously.  Such internal reports can help employers investigate and eliminate unlawful conduct in the workplace.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that retaliating against an employee for making an internal report of potentially unlawful activity—not a report to an external agency—is unlawful whistleblower retaliation.

What Happened

In Brunozzi v. Cable Communications, Inc., an employee complained several times to his supervisor that he was not being properly paid for working overtime.
Continue Reading Whistleblower Retaliation Protection Expands in Oregon

Some Oregonians are no doubt breathing clouds of relief with the introduction of Senate Bill 301, the Oregon Legislature’s proposal to protect employees from being fired for personal marijuana use.  Employers, on the other hand, may find themselves in a sticky (icky) situation trying to comply with the proposed law, which, at first glance, seems straightforward but would present significant challenges if passed.
Continue Reading Oregon Legislature’s Attempt to Protect Pot Users Poses Challenges to Employers

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.

The OPSL will look familiar to Oregon employers that have already been dealing with local PSL ordinances enacted in Portland and Eugene in recent years, which OPSL now preempts and replaces. OPSL largely tracks those local leave laws in substance, and generally requires employers to provide up to 40 hours of sick leave per year. Here is a detailed summary of its requirements, including where it differs from the Portland and Eugene ordinances.
Continue Reading Oregon Enacts State-Wide Paid Employee Sick Leave Which (Mostly) Replaces Local Ordinances in Portland and Eugene

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