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NLRB Effectively Scraps Plans (For Now) To Pursue Notice Posting Rule By Deciding Not To Seek Review By U.S. Supreme Court

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has suffered a series of setbacks recently at the hands of federal judges.  In December, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals largely struck down the NLRB’s prohibition on class action waivers in arbitration agreements.  Now, on January 6, 2014, the NLRB announced that it won’t seek Supreme Court review of two U.S. Court of … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Gives Green Light For Employers To Use Offers Of Judgment To Moot FLSA Collective Actions

Today the US Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Genesis Healthcare v. Symczk. In the case, the Court held that employers could effectively end collective action lawsuits under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by agreeing to pay the named plaintiffs in those lawsuits whatever they claim they are owed. The Court held that because the … Continue Reading

New Hiring Obligations for Federal Service Contractors Effective January 18, 2013

Although it’s almost been four years since it was issued in January 2009, Executive Order 13495, known as “Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts” (74 Fed. Reg. 6103) has not had much impact upon government contracting employers. That is about to change as the final rule and regulations that will make Executive Order 13495 enforceable … Continue Reading

Recordkeeping: The Often Overlooked Element of FMLA Compliance

Most employers grapple with the better-known aspects of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), such as determining whether an employee’s illness constitutes a serious medical condition, obtaining required certification or providing adequate coverage for workers on intermittent leave. All too often employers focus on the leave itself and breathe a sigh of relief when notice … 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

Medical Marijuana and Zero Tolerance Drug Testing Policies Remain An Issue For Employers

Employers and the courts continue to wrestle with issues involving “zero tolerance” drug testing policies and whether employers must accommodate medical marijuana use by their employees. Marijuana use is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and therefore does not need to be accommodated under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). However, 15 states currently have … Continue Reading

Oregon Minimum Wage to Rise to $8.50/Hour in 2011

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries recently announced that Oregon’s minimum wage will increase by ten cents to $8.50 an hour effective January 1, 2011.  Oregon’s minimum wage has been $8.40 an hour since January 1, 2009.  Click here to read Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s press release on the minimum wage increase.  As a … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Approves of “Preemptive” Fitness for Duty Examination

Yesterday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision approving of an employer’s use of a "preemptive" fitness for duty examination for an employee who exhibited bizarre and erratic behavior in the workplace, even though that behavior had not yet impacted his job performance.  Click here to read the full opinion in Brownfield v. City … Continue Reading

Supreme Court issues Favorable Ruling for Employers in Texting/Privacy Case

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court issued a long-anticipated decision in City of Ontario v. Quon, unanimously ruling that a search of sexually explicit personal text messages sent by a police officer using his department pager was reasonable and did not violate the individual officer’s privacy rights. At issue was the right of a government employer … Continue Reading

More Federally Mandated Wallpaper: Federal contractors must post a notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act

  Once again, employers are being given an old line: we are from the federal government and we’re here to help you . . . with your office decorating. Shortly after his inauguration, President Obama issued Executive Order 13496 (the “Order”). The Order directed that all federal contractors post a notice to their employees advising the employees of their … Continue Reading

Oregon Supreme Court: Employers Are Not Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana

Yesterday the Oregon Supreme Court conclusively ruled that employers are not required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace, ending years of doubt and confusion on this critical issue. Click here to read the Court’s opinion in Emerald Steel Fabricators, Inc. v. Bureau of Labor and Industries. In Emerald Steel, a drill … Continue Reading

President Obama to Sign Jobs Bill Today

President Obama is today expected to sign the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which in its final form passed The House of Representatives 217-201 on March 4 and the Senate 68-29  on March 17.  Click here to download the final version of the HIRE Act. Key provisions of the HIRE Act include: An exemption … 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

Oregon Legislature Bans Workplace Credit Checks

This week the Oregon House voted to prohibit employers from using credit histories for any employment purposes including hiring, discharge, promotion and compensation.  The Oregon Senate passed the bill last week, and Governor Ted Kulongoski is expected to sign the bill into law effective July 1, 2010.  Click here to download a copy of the bill, SB 1045.  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Review Text Message Case; Primarily of Interest to Public Employers

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court agreed to consider whether a police officer has a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages sent using his department-issued pager.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the officer had such a privacy right.  Click here to read the opinion below in City of Ontario, California v. Quon.  In Quon, … 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

Oregon Court of Appeals Upholds Claim of Negligent Failure to Investigate

In Steele v. Mayoral et al., the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that a plaintiff could take to the jury her claim that her employer had failed to prevent sexual harassment by her supervisor by not investigating earlier incidents about the supervisor’s relationships with other employees. The plaintiff, a high school guidance counselor, was dating … 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

The First Monday in October: Supreme Court Roundup

The first Monday in October traditionally marks the beginning of the United States Supreme Court’s yearly term – and it provides an excellent opportunity to look at the cases the Court will be hearing this year.  In an earlier post, the World of Work brought you detailed discussion of the Court’s only Title VII case this term:  Lewis v. City of Chicago.  … 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

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

California DLSE Reverses Itself Regarding Schedule and Salary Reductions for Exempt Employees

The California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has issued an opinion letter in which it concludes that California law does not prohibit an employer from temporarily reducing the work schedule of an exempt employee from five days a week to four days a week, and correspondingly reducing the employee’s salary by 20 percent.  The … Continue Reading

DOT Reinstates Observed Urination Drug Testing Rule for Safety-Sensitive Positions

Yesterday the Department of Transportation (DOT) reinstated its rule that employers must conduct observed urination drug testing for all return-to-duty and follow-up tests for transportation workers in safety-sensitive positions.  The new regulations will apply to workers in safety-sensitive positions in the aviation, motor carrier, rail, transit, maritime, and pipeline industries.  Click here to read the … 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
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