Tag: law

Washington Legislature Enacts Multiple Anti-Employer Statutes

No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session. · Judge Gideon J. Tucker In the recently concluded session, Washington legislators enacted numerous laws that will adversely affect employers of all sizes across the State. With so many changes, it is key that employers stay up to date and understand … Continue Reading

Washington Court of Appeals Holds Independent Contractors Are Protected from Retaliation by the Washington Law Against Discrimination

The Washington courts are strict in their interpretation of the classification of individuals as employees versus independent contractors, resulting in many an employer discovering that an “independent contractor” is instead an employee. But the Washington Court of Appeals’ recent ruling in Currier v. Northland Services, Inc., confirms that even those individuals who qualify as bona fide … Continue Reading

Washington State Supreme Court’s Decision on Religious Accommodation: What It Means for Employers

Employers in Washington should take note of last week’s decision from the Washington State Supreme Court holding that state law allows a claim for failure to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices. That result is hardly surprising, but how the Court reached that result, and its other conclusions along the way, will complicate how businesses … Continue Reading

Foiled Again: DR Horton Overturned (But Be Careful How You Phrase Your Arbitration Agreement)

Earlier this week, a three judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited decision in DR Horton Inc. v. NLRB. As expected by most labor lawyers, including us, the Fifth Circuit (with one judge dissenting) overruled the National Labor Relations Board’s dramatic extension of the law, that employers could not require employees … Continue Reading

Chasm Continues To Widen, For Now, Between NLRB and Federal Courts On Enforceability Of Class Action Waivers In Employment Agreements

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 … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court’s Decisions on DOMA Extend FMLA Definition of “Spouse” To Same-Sex Partners In States Recognizing Gay Marriage

As almost everyone knows, the U.S. Supreme Court  issued two blockbuster decisions on gay marriage, U.S. v. Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act’s ("DOMA") definition of marriage for the purposes of federal law, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which struck down California’s "Proposition 8" prohibiting same-sex marriage in that state.  Those decisions will likely have significant … Continue Reading

Oregon Court of Appeals Upholds Wrongful Discharge Claim By Whistleblowing Prison Guard

Is the Oregon Court of Appeals back in the wrongful-discharge business? It’s a fair question to ask after the court’s decision last week in Lucas v. Lake County, –Or. App.– (2012).  Reversing the trial court’s motion to dismiss, the court held that a sheriff’s deputy who served as a correctional officer could sue for wrongful discharge … Continue Reading

Where There Is At-Will, There Is A Way: NLRB Issues New Guidance On “At Will” Employment Policies

On Halloween, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) General Counsel’s Division of Advice handed out a rare treat to employers by issuing two Advice Memos (Mimi’s Café, Case No. 28-CA-0844365 and Rocha Transportation, Case No. 32-CA-086799), deeming two particular (and common forms of) at-will employment policies contained in employee handbooks lawful under the National Labor … Continue Reading

As the Election Nears, Employers Should be Cautious of Politics in the Workplace

From the Presidential debates to lawn signs, and TV ads to the Voters’ Pamphlet in your mailbox, there’s no denying that election season is in full swing. For employers, the home stretch to November 6 means not only around-the-clock coverage, but the potential for spirited debates—and resulting employee discord—in the workplace. Although with limited exception political activity … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds Employee Arbitration Agreement Waiving Class Claims Violates Federal Labor Law

In DR Horton, a decision issued on January 3 and applicable to most private sector employers, whether unionized or not, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that federal labor law prevents employers from requiring their employees, as a condition of employment, to agree to broad waivers that would deny their right to pursue employment-related class … Continue Reading

Despite Assertions to Contrary, Employment Laws Do Exist

On my way in to work this morning, I was listening to NPR’s Morning Edition, and caught an interview with Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute. The interview was ostensibly to promote Mr. Maltby’s new book, “ Can They Do That?” in which he discusses employment termination cases that were deemed legal, but … Continue Reading

Oregon Court Of Appeals Holds Non-Disabled Employees Are Protected When Requesting Accommodations

On Thursday, in Herbert v. Altimeter, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that an employee does not need to actually be disabled in order to be protected from retaliation for requesting an accommodation under Oregon’s disability anti-discrimination law.  The case serves as a useful reminder that anti-retaliation protections, like those in the Oregon disability law, … Continue Reading

LinkedIn Debate Highlights Broader Issue of Inflated Performance Evaluations

Recently, an interesting debate has erupted in the employment law blogosphere over this National Law Journal piece cautioning employers about the risks posed by making recommendations on LinkedIn — a social networking website for professionals.  The perceived danger scenario is where a manager “recommends” the work of a subordinate, who is later terminated for poor performance.  The former … 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

President Bush Signs ADA Amendments Act

As expected, President Bush yesterday signed the ADA Amendments Act ("ADAAA") into law, significantly expanding the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The final version of the law can be downloaded here.  The Stoel Rives World of Employment has been actively covering the law as it wound its way through Congress, and you can follow … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Asks Washington Supreme Court to Define “Disability” under WLAD

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this week certified a question to the Washington Supreme Court, seeking that court’s help in defining "disability" under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD).  Two years ago, in McClarty v. Totem Electric, 137 P.3d 844 (2006), the Washington Supreme Court significantly narrowed the definition of "disability" under the WLAD.  In 2007, … Continue Reading

ADA Amendments Act Passes House – Next Stop White House

The ADA Amendments Act ("ADAAA") was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier today.  For more information, read the House’s Press Release.  As reported previously by the Stoel Rives World of Employment, the same version of the bill was recently approved by the U.S. Senate.  The next stop for the ADAAA is the White House.  President … Continue Reading

ADAAA Update: Senate Approves ADA Amendments Act

The U.S. Senate yesterday approved the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) by unanimous consent, making enactment of the ADAAA likely.  As the Stoel Rives World of Employment previously reported, the ADAAA would overturn several U.S. Supreme Court decisions that many critics claim have too narrowly interpreted the Americans with Disabilities Act‘s coverage.  To read the Senate … Continue Reading
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