At the direction of Governor Brad Little, the Director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has issued an Order to Self-Isolate for the State of Idaho that became effective on March 25, 2020. The Order is intended to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency by ensuring the maximum number of people
Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”) prohibits employers from requiring employees to execute arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. After being signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on October 10, 2019, AB 51 was set to go into effect on January 1, 2020; however, on December 30, 2019, the Honorable Kimberly J. Mueller, Chief Judge…
Portland, Oregon’s new “ban the box” ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2016. We blogged about Oregon’s statewide “ban the box” law here. Portland’s new ordinance is more restrictive and prohibits covered employers from conducting criminal background checks until after a conditional job offer is made. Detailed information about the new ordinance is available here.
Are You a Covered Employer?
The Portland ordinance applies to private companies that have six or more employees, with at least one employee who spends a majority of his or her time working within the City of Portland.
You are completely exempt from the law if:
- You have fewer than six employees;
- Federal, state, or local law requires you to consider an applicant’s criminal history;
- You are a law enforcement agency or part of the criminal justice system; or
- You are seeking a nonemployee volunteer.
Oregon’s new minimum wage law, signed by Governor Brown on March 2, 2016, received a lot of press during the 2016 legislative session. This new law establishes a tiered system for determination of the minimum wage based on the location of the employer. The minimum wage will increase annually on July 1 of each year, with the first increase (from $9.25 to $9.50 in rural areas and to $9.75 everywhere else) taking place this year. By 2022, Oregon’s minimum wage will increase to $14.75 inside Portland’s urban growth boundary, $13.50 in midsize counties, and $12.50 in rural areas. The full text of the enrolled Senate bill is available here.
With minimum wage receiving all of the attention, Oregon employers may have missed other employment-related bills. Here are the bills that passed during the 2016 Oregon Legislative Session and those that failed (but we might see again in the future).
Continue Reading 2016 Oregon Legislative Update: What You Might Have Missed
Stoel Rives labor and employment attorney Adam Belzberg and water resources attorney Wes Miliband were quoted in a Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) article titled “California Drought Has Wide-Ranging Effects in Business Community.” The article examines the effects of California’s long-lasting drought on the state’s job market, specifically on the agricultural and…
* October 11, 2015 Update: Governor Brown announced he has vetoed AB 465
On August 27, 2015, the California Assembly approved AB 465. The bill, which was approved by the California Senate on August 24, would prohibit California employers from requiring most individuals to enter into arbitration agreements as a condition of their employment.…
In this week’s mid-term election on November 4, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia became the latest jurisdictions to pass referendums decriminalizing the recreational possession and use of small amounts of marijuana. They join Colorado and Washington, which took this step in 2012. Oregon’s law becomes effective in July 2015; Alaska’s probably in February 2015.
Each of these laws is slightly different (read the full text here of the measures in Oregon, Alaska, and D.C.). But employers in all these jursidcitions may be wondering about the same question: does this affect my company’s anti-drug policy or drug testing program and if so, how?Continue Reading What Does Alaska’s and Oregon’s Legalization of Marijuana Change for Employers? Answer: Probably Not Much.
Today we continue with our recent New Years theme. Not to be outdone by their neighbors to the south, the Oregon Legislature was also busy in 2013. And now that 2014 is upon us so too are a slew of new Oregon employment laws. In areas ranging from social media to sick leave, Oregon employers should carefully review their policies and practices to ensure current compliance with these new laws. Here is a round up of the major changes to employment laws enacted by the Oregon Legislature (and the City of Portland) that employers should be aware of in 2014:
- Employers may not demand access to employees’ social media accounts. Beginning on January 1, 2014, employers may not demand access to employees’ or applicants’ personal social media accounts. House Bill 2654, which Governor Kitzhaber signed into law on May 22, 2013, prohibits employers from requiring an employee or applicant to disclose her username, password, or “other means of authentication that provides access to a personal social media account.” It further prohibits employers from requiring that an employee “friend” or otherwise connect with an employer via a social media account, and from compelling the employee to access the account in the employer’s presence such that the employer can view it. A number of other states have passed or are considering similar legislation.
Seattle employers are about to become much more restricted in their ability to inquire into or act upon the criminal records of applicants and employees. On November 1st, the Seattle Job Assistance Ordinance, SMC 14.17, takes effect and will apply to positions that are based in Seattle at least half of the time. The Ordinance does not apply to governmental employers (with the exception of the City of Seattle) or to positions involving law enforcement, crime prevention, security, criminal justice, private investigation, or unsupervised access to children under the age of sixteen or to vulnerable or developmentally disabled adults.
The Ordinance imposes the following new restrictions on the hiring process:
- Advertisements for positions cannot state that applicants with criminal records will not be considered or otherwise categorically exclude such applicants;
- The employer cannot implement any policy or practice that automatically excludes all applicants with criminal histories;
- The employer must complete an initial screening process to weed out any unqualified candidates before the employer can question applicants about their criminal histories or run criminal background checks on applicants;
- The employer cannot refuse to hire an applicant solely because he or she has an arrest record (as opposed to a conviction record); and
- The employer cannot refuse to hire an applicant solely because of his or her conviction record, conduct underlying his or her arrest record, or pending criminal charges unless the employer has a legitimate business reason to do so.
Just last week, in the case GameStop Corp., a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge applied recent Board precedent and ignored contrary cases from federal courts to find an employer’s arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it waived the right of employees to bring class or collective actions. While the decision has yet to be approved by the NLRB itself (parties can appeal ALJ decisions to the NLRB), it illustrates the continuing tension in this area between the NLRB (which disfavors class action waivers in employee arbitration agreements) and the federal courts (which favor them).
As we have reported, U.S. federal courts continue to hold that employees may enter into arbitration agreements in which they waive the right to file class or collective action claims. The U.S. Supreme Court put its stamp of approval on such waivers in 2011 in the blockbuster case AT&T v. Concepcion, holding that the enforceability of arbitration agreements was governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), which preempted any state law purporting to regulate arbitration agreements, including arbitration agreements with class action waivers. Building on a decades-long line of cases steadily increasing support for the concept of arbitration and similar alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) methods for resolving litigation, Concepcion also held decisively that arbitration agreements could include waivers by the parties of the right to bring lawsuits as class actions. The U.S. Supreme Court has re-affirmed Concepcion in subsequent decisions.Continue Reading Chasm Continues To Widen, For Now, Between NLRB and Federal Courts On Enforceability Of Class Action Waivers In Employment Agreements