Tag: act

Ninth Circuit Issues Split Decisions on Compensation for Travel Time and “Off-the-Clock” Work

  Employees who drive company vehicles between home and work will find little to cheer about in a recent Ninth Circuit decision . . . unless they live in California.  In Rutti v. Lojack Corporation, a three-judge panel refused to relax the rule that commuting time is non-compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).   The employee, who installed vehicle recovery systems, contended … Continue Reading

Senate Jobs Bill: Tax Incentives to Hire Unemployed, but no COBRA Subsidy Extension

Yesterday the U.S. Senate  voted 70-28 to approve the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, a $15 billion bill aimed at creating jobs, helping small businesses, and rebuilding public infrastructure.  However, the bill does not include a further extension of the current COBRA subsides for unemployed workers, nor does it increase funding for state … Continue Reading

9th Circuit: No Compensatory or Punitive Damages in ADA Retaliation Cases

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently limited the remedies available to employees who sue for retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ruling that the statute does not provide for punitive damages, compensatory damages or a jury trial in ADA retaliation cases.  Click here to read the decision in Alvarado v. Cajun Operating Co.  … Continue Reading

Our Festivus Present to Oregon Employers: Ten Things You Should Know for 2010

Wow, it’s Festivus already, which means that in just a few short days it will be a brand new year!  We have a Festivus present for Oregon employers to help you get ready:  Ten things you need to know for 2010!  (click on each blue hotlink for more information) All Oregon employers are required to post the SB … Continue Reading

9th Circuit: Independent Contractor Can Assert Disability Claim Under Rehabilitation Act

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that an independent contractor may assert a disability claim against an employer under the Rehabilitation Act.  Click the link to read the opinion on Fleming v. Yuma Regional Medical Center.  The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving … Continue Reading

Oregon BOLI Files Multiple Proposed Rule Changes

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has filed several proposed rules pertaining to labor and employment law, and is inviting public comment.  Click on the title of each to read the proposed rule: Religious worship, child support obligors, physical accommodations for eligible disabilities.  The proposed rules would implement statutes: requiring employers to reasonably accommodate … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Expansion of FMLA Leave for Military Families

Earlier this week, President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a federal law that is enacted each fiscal year to specify the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.  This year, the NDAA contains two expansions of the exigency and caregiver leave provisions for military families under the Family … Continue Reading

Oregon’s BOLI Proposes New Employee Leave Regulations

Last week the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) filed with the Secretary of State a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on new regulations pertaining to certain employee leave laws.  The proposed regulations are intended to reflect some recent amendments to federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations and to clarify, edit and make … Continue Reading

2009 Mid-Term Federal Legislative Update

We expected many changes in federal labor and employment law in 2009 – for the first time in years, Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress and have the political ability to make significant reforms.  However, not much has happened in 2009: we have only significant labor and employment bill signed into … Continue Reading

Managers Individually Liable for Unpaid Wages Despite Employer’s Bankruptcy

A recent case should strike fear into the hearts of all upper-level managers and human resources professionals:  in Boucher v. Shaw, the Ninth Circuit ruled that individual managers were liable for their subordinates’ unpaid wages, even though the employer company filed for bankruptcy.  In Boucher, a group of former casino employees sued the CEO, CFO and … Continue Reading

New Website for Disability Information

The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy today launched a new website that may be of use to employers seeking information on how to accommodate a disabled worker.  At www.disability.gov an employer can research the applicable law and regulations, get ideas for appropriate reasonable accommodations, and locate additional resources.  For example, clicking here will … Continue Reading

Another Circuit Court Agrees: ADA Amendments Act is Not Retroactive

Congress did not intend for the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) to be retroactive, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled yesterday, and applied pre-ADAAA law to dismiss an employment discrimination claim.  Click here to read the court’s decision in Lytes v. DC Water and Sewer Authority.  Congress passed the ADAAA in 2008 and the new … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Guidance on Severance Agreements and Waivers

Recognizing that severance agreements are becoming more and more prevailant in the down economy, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) yesterday issued a new technical assistance document titled Understanding Waivers of Discrimination Claims in Employee Severance Agreements (click on the title to access the document).  The new document is intended to help both employers and employees navigate … Continue Reading

Bus Driver’s “Shy Bladder Syndrome” a Disability

A school bus driver who was demoted after his "shy bladder syndrome" left him unable to comply with his employer’s drug testing procedures may proceed with claims under the Americans with Disabilites Act (ADA) according to a recent ruling from a Tennessee federal court.  Click here to read the full opinion in Melman v. Metropolitan Government … Continue Reading

Al Franken and EFCA

After months of litigation, Al Franken has been declared the winner of the Senate race in Minnesota.  He will be the 60th Democrat in the Senate, which could enable the Democrats to override a filibuster in the Senate.  So the question becomes where does Senator Franken stand on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)?  Just as a reminder, … Continue Reading

Federal Minimum Wage Increases to $7.25 Effective July 24

Employers take note:  the federal minimum wage increases to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.   For more information, check out the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act site.  Of course, many states also have minimum wage laws, an where an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled … Continue Reading

9th Circuit Orders Damages, but Not Reinstatement for Unauthorized Alien Workers

What’s an employer to do when it is ordered to reinstate former employees, but those employees are not legally authorized to work in the United States?  Pay liquidated damages instead, according to the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in NLRB v. C&C Roofing Supply Inc.  In C&C, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleged that the employer unlawfully … Continue Reading

FOREWARN Act Introduced – Changes to WARN Act in 2009?

Last week, the Federal Oversight, Reform, and Enforcement of the WARN (FOREWARN) Act was introduced in the House by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and in the Senate by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).  FOREWARN aims to amend the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act by requiring more and smaller employers to notify workers of  plant closings or mass … Continue Reading

Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Is This the Year?

Just in time for Pride Month, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (ENDA) earlier this week. If passed, ENDA would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  It would also prohibit employers retaliation against employees who oppose such discrimination who participate in any investigation or  proceeding under ENDA. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Tightens Standards for Age Discrimination Plaintiffs

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that trial courts may not use a "mixed motive" framework in federal age discrimination cases.  Rather, plaintiffs in age discrimination cases must prove that "but for" their age, they would not have been discriminated against.  Click here to read the Court’s decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services.  Under a 1991 … Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation Would Allow Employers to Fire Union Salts

The Truth in Employment Act of 2009 (TEA) would allow employers to lawfully fire employees who are suspected of “salting,” or attempting to organize the contractor’s workforce from within on behalf of a labor union.  The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and in the House by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).  TEA would amend … Continue Reading

Proposed Law Would Guarantee Working Mothers Right to Breast-Feed in Workplace

Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley has announced he will today introduce the Breastfeeding Promotion Act (BPA) in the U.S. Senate.  The BPA would  guarantee working mothers the right to breast-feed their children at their workplaces.  Click here to read about Merkley’s proposal on Oregonlive.com.  The bill is identical to one introduced yesterday in the House by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. … Continue Reading

Proposed Law Would Allow Employers to Pay Extra to Union Workers

The proposed Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees (RAISE) Act, introduced in Congress last week, would change federal labor law to allow employers to pay higher wages to selected union employees.  Sounds like a no brainer, right?  Guess again. The Act was introduced in the Senate by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and in the House by Rep. Tom … Continue Reading
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