Caroline Sundbaum

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Caroline Sundbaum represents companies in employment lawsuits and has experience defending everything from complex wage & hour class actions to sensitive sexual harassment claims. She is an experienced trial attorney and former public defender who looks at the big picture and knows when to aggressively litigate and when to make a case quickly go away.

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Spring Cleaning for your Oregon Leave Law Policies

As Oregon’s April 2022 snowstorm becomes a distant memory, it’s time for some spring cleaning of employer leave policies. There are two recent changes that may require updates to your employee handbook.  Oregon Paid Sick Leave—Expanded to Account for Evacuation Orders, Poor Air Quality, and Heat.  BOLI recently adopted, effective April 1, 2022, a rule … Continue Reading

Oregon Health Authority Releases Mandatory Vaccine Rule and Religious/Medical Exemption Forms for Health Care Workers

Last week, Governor Kate Brown announced that the State of Oregon would require that all health care workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they could prove they were entitled to a religious or medical exception.  The Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) just released its administrative rule implementing the Governor’s announcement: effective October 18, 2021, health … Continue Reading

Oregon to Require Vaccinations for All Health Care Workers

On August 19, 2021, just two weeks after announcing that all Oregon health care workers must either be fully vaccinated or test weekly for COVID-19, which we blogged about here, Governor Brown announced that vaccinations will be mandatory for health care workers starting October 18, 2021, assuming the vaccines have full FDA approval by then.  … Continue Reading

EUA Status Does Not Prohibit Employers from Requiring the COVID Vaccine; Seven Factors for Employers to Consider When Considering a Mandatory Vaccination Policy

While many employers initially were hesitant to institute mandatory COVID vaccinations, the recent surge driven by the Delta variant and announcements from large organizations—including the U.S. military, United Airlines, and major health care systems across the country—have caused many employers to revisit mandatory vaccination policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Justice … Continue Reading

Oregon Health Care Employees Must Provide Proof of COVID Vaccination or Test Weekly

The latest COVID-19 surge driven by the Delta variant has caused many employers — not the least of which are health care employers — to revisit mandatory vaccine requirements for employees.  While many health care systems around the country already have mandated that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, a … Continue Reading

Oregon Pay Equity Update: Legislature Temporarily Amends Equal Pay Act to Allow for Hiring and Retention Bonuses and Vaccine Incentives

The Oregon legislature recently passed HB 2818, which made several notable (and needed!) amendments to Oregon’s Equal Pay Act, including: Temporarily exempting hiring bonuses offered to prospective employees and retention bonuses offered to existing employees from the definition of “compensation.”  This amendment is temporary and effective only until March 1, 2022. Permanently exempting vaccine incentives … Continue Reading

Oregon Legislature Further Limits Employee Non-Competition Agreements, Including Imposing a 12-Month Limit on Duration

Over the last several years, the Oregon Legislature has whittled away employers’ ability to enforce employee non-competition agreements (see our posts from 2007, 2015). Senate Bill 169, which Governor Brown signed into law on May 21, 2021, further limits an employer’s ability to impose non-competition obligations on employees. Effective starting January 1, 2022, the statute … Continue Reading

Do Employees Still Have to Wear a Mask?

Please note: The information below is based on what we know today, and that rules and regulations are literally changing daily. Employers need to be nimble and flexible – check your local rules on a daily basis. As more and more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine, employees are starting to ask questions about mask requirements.  … Continue Reading

FFCRA Update: What the March 2021 Federal Stimulus Bill Means for COVID-19-Related Leave

On March 10, 2021, Congress passed its landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, and President Biden signed the bill into law on March 11.  The bill does not require employers to continue offering Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) leave, but it extends the FFCRA’s payroll tax credit provisions for employers who choose to offer … Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines

*This article was originally published as a Legal Alert on December 17, 2020. With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available to some and just around the corner for others, the question on many employers’ (and employees’) minds is whether they can (or should) mandate employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity … Continue Reading

Oregon OSHA Issues Sample Materials for Required Employee Training and Releases Delayed Enforcement Memorandum

Oregon OSHA has just released a series of materials, including sample training materials, to help employers comply with OR-OSHA’s temporary workplace safety rules related to COVID-19.  We previously discussed the OR-OSHA rules here and here.  The new materials are summarized below. Sample Training Materials Employers must provide employees with COVID-19 information and training by December … Continue Reading

Oregon Issues New COVID-19 Guidance for Employers, Including Updated Face Covering Requirements

On the same day that Oregon’s statewide “freeze” went into effect, which we blogged about here, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued new face covering guidance and new guidance for employers.  That guidance is available here (face coverings) and here (employers). Face Covering Guidance Under the new face covering guidance, employees working in cubicles or … Continue Reading

Oregon Orders a Statewide “Freeze” Due to COVID-19 Surge, Closing Some Businesses, Restricting Bars and Restaurants to Takeout, and Further Limiting Social Gatherings

On November 13, 2020, after concluding that the previously proposed two-week “pause” did not go far enough, Governor Kate Brown announced a two-week statewide “freeze” aimed at slowing the rapid spread of COVID-19. The statewide freeze starts on Wednesday, November 18 and runs through December 2, 2020, meaning that the freeze will be in place … Continue Reading

BOLI Permanently Expands OFLA for Eligible Working Parents Impacted by COVID-19

On the day that its temporary rule was set to expire, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) issued a permanent rule to allow employees to continue to avail themselves of protected “sick child leave” under the Oregon Family Leave Act (“OFLA”) to care for a child whose school or childcare provider has been … Continue Reading

FFCRA Update: DOL Issues New Guidance Regarding Childcare Leave

The DOL recently updated its guidance regarding when childcare leave can be taken under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (or “FFCRA”).  FFCRA requires most employers to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of protected leave, paid at 2/3rds the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to a maximum of $200 a day (reimbursed … Continue Reading

Oregon Now Requires Face Coverings in Public and Private Offices

The Oregon Health Authority recently updated the state’s COVID-19 guidance to expand the use of face coverings to public and private offices. Under the new rule, masks, face coverings, or face shields are required at all times for office employees, including in hallways, bathrooms, elevators, lobbies, break rooms, and other common spaces, unless employees are … Continue Reading

Oregon Employers Must Post Pregnancy Accommodation Notice and Distribute Notice to Existing Employees by June 29, 2020

Effective January 1, 2020, Oregon law requires employers with six or more employees to make reasonable accommodations for known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, such as lactation, unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship. An employer’s accommodation obligations extend beyond those already required by the federal Americans with Disabilities … Continue Reading

Face Coverings Are Now Required for Employees of Select Oregon Businesses

Pursuant to Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance, employers in certain businesses must require employees, contractors, and volunteers to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield, unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies. On June 11, 2020, the OHA issued updated guidance explaining that face coverings are not required when eating/drinking … Continue Reading

Oregon Employers in Counties Entering Phase II May Begin Limited Return to Office Work; Remote Work Is Still Recommended

Governor Brown’s latest Executive Order, 20-27, issued June 5, 2020 provides comprehensive guidance for Oregon employers as the majority of the state enters Phase II of Oregon’s reopening plan.  In addition to outlining the sector-specific requirements for Phase II, which we recently blogged about here, the Executive Order provides further instructions regarding office work. Under … Continue Reading

Oregon Issues New COVID-19 Guidance for Employers as Most Counties Enter Phase 2

We continue to track Governor Brown’s plans for Oregon’s phased reopening, and the impact on Oregon employers.  Select Oregon counties have been approved to move into Phase 2 effective June 5, 2020, with the majority of Oregon counties moving into Phase 2 by June 8.  Multnomah County, Oregon’s most populous county, remains at Baseline, but … Continue Reading

Ten Things to Consider In Getting Back to Work

As restrictions are easing, employers are planning for and starting to bring people back to work.  In these extraordinary times, everyone recognizes that things will not be business as usual.  Here is our “Top 10” checklist of things to consider as we move toward the “new normal.” Reluctant Returners. Many employees are eager to return … Continue Reading

FFCRA Leave for Childcare Closures May Extend Beyond the End of the School Year

Thank you to everyone who attended our webinar on Taming the COVID-19 Chaos, Part 6—Bringing Employees Back to Work.  If you missed it, be on the lookout for details on future webinars to help employers navigate these challenging times. We received some questions about whether employees can continue to use FFCRA leave after the end … Continue Reading

Oregon’s Plan for Reopening

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced this week that Oregon is developing a multifaceted, step-by-step plan for reopening businesses and relaxing its “stay at home” measures.  In accordance with federal guidance, Oregon’s plan has three phases, with gating criteria and core preparedness requirements that must be met before moving to the next phase. Between each phase, … Continue Reading

Navigating ADA Issues in the Time of COVID-19: Four Situations Employers Should Be Prepared For

We have been counseling employers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and have encountered several common scenarios.  Many of the most frequently asked questions are addressed in our Employer FAQs.  This post provides additional information on the interaction between various pandemic-related issues and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). An employee known to be suffering from a mental … Continue Reading
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