Tag: employee

Idaho Supreme Court Rejects Lawsuit over Intra-Office Romance

On June 29, 2011, the Idaho Supreme Court unanimously upheld a district court ruling that a state worker could not maintain an action against her employer for wrongful discharge based on allegations that her supervisor’s intra-office romance and consequent favoritism toward his paramour created a hostile work environment. See Patterson v. State of Idaho Dep’t of … Continue Reading

California Overtime Rules Apply To Work Performed In California By Out-Of-State Employees

The California Supreme Court has ruled that California’s daily overtime requirements apply to work performed in California by non-residents.  In Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., three employees of Oracle who were not residents of California worked as “instructors” and trained Oracle’s customers in the use of the company’s products.  Required by Oracle to travel, the plaintiffs … Continue Reading

Why Employers Should Exercise Restraint and Objectivity

Retaliation claims are increasing at an alarming pace. Not only have these claims tripled in number within the last two decades, they now exceed race discrimination as the leading claim filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Click here to see EEOC statistics. Why the startling trend? First, Congress has gone to great lengths to protect … Continue Reading

IRS Issues HIRE Act Affidavit

The Internal Revenue Service released yesterday Form W-11, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act Employee Affidavit.  Employers can use the form to claim the special payroll tax exemption that applies to many newly hired workers during 2010.  Click here to download a copy of Form W-11. The HIRE Act, which President Obama signed into law on … Continue Reading

How Does the Heath Care Reform Package Impact Employers?

The health care reform legislation passed by Congress places significant new responsibilities on employers, group health plans, insurers, and individuals. The Stoel Rives Employee Benefits team has developed the following overview of the most significant issues affecting employers and group health plans, in order of effective date. (click on CONTINUE READING" for the full text of the overview). Effective … 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

Washington Domestic Partnership Law Impacts Employee Benefits and Family Leave

Washington voters recently approved Referendum 71, giving registered domestic partners all of the rights and responsibilities of married couples under Washington state law.   Prior domestic partnership laws gave registered domestic partners limited rights and responsibilities such as hospital visitation, health care decision making, inheritance and community property rights.  The new law includes all of the rights … 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

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

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

Oregon Legislature Bans Mandatory Meetings

A new Oregon bill will prohibit employers from requiring employees to attend mandatory or "captive audience" meetings on, among other topics, labor unions.  Governor Ted Kulongoski is expected to sign the bill, which would them become law effective January 1, 2010.  Click here to read SB 519.  SB 519 prohibits an employer from taking action against an … 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

Let the Fireworks Begin! EFCA Introduced in Congress

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which will amend the National Labor Relations Act to make it easier for unions to organize, was introduced in Congress yesterday.  Separaste bills were introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Education and … Continue Reading

Hilda Solis Nomination for Labor Secretary in Trouble

We recently reported that President Obama nominated California Representative Hilda Solis as our next Secretary of Labor.  It now appears her nomination is in serious trouble.  The Senate delayed confirmation hearings after finding out that Solis’ husband owed some back taxes on his auto repair business.  Whoops.  Conservatives opposed to Solis’ nomination – and her support … Continue Reading

WSJ Reports EFCA Unlikely to Pass Soon

According to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is not likely to become law in the first 100 days of the Obama Administration.  Because Republicans are threatening a filibuster, congressional Democrats are likely to instead focus their early efforts on two other low-hanging fruit:  the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would … Continue Reading

Obama Nominates Rep. Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary

Today’s New York Times is reporting that President-Elect Barack Obama will nominate California Representative Hilda Solis as his administration’s Secretary of Labor, the cabinet-level position that oversees the Department of Labor. John Sweeney, head of the AFL-CIO (a coalition of labor unions) praised the appointment of Solis to the position.  And not without good reason:  Solis has … Continue Reading

New Federal Legislation Would Penalize Employers’ Use of “Independent Contractors”

The U.S. Congress is currently considering legislation that would impose significant penalties on employers who improperly classify employees as "independent contractors" to avoid paying for benefits.  The Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (S. 3648) was introduced in the Senate on September 29, and is sponsored by Senators Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.).   … Continue Reading
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