Tag: Oregon

Court of Appeals Interprets Definition of “Independent Contractor” Under ORS 670.600

A new case from the Oregon Court of Appeals, Compressed Pattern LLC v. Employment Department, provides some clarity about the “maintain a separate business location” prong of Oregon’s unique independent contractor statute, ORS 670.600. First, the facts.  In the summer of 2009, a design company retained a recently-laid-off architectural intern to provide drafting services on … 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

Oregon Court of Appeals Upholds Enforceability of Employer Arbitration Agreement

In the recent case Hatkoff v. Portland Adventist Medical Center, the Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed enforcement of a company arbitration provision in an employee handbook requiring that a former employee bring his employment discrimination claims in binding arbitration. The Court’s opinion offers a straight-forward application of the law regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements, and … Continue Reading

2011 Update: Compliance and regulatory considerations in implementing your value based interventions

Please join Stoel Rives Partners Ed Reeves and Bob Thompson as they present "2011 Update: Compliance and regulatory considerations in implementing your value based interventions" an Oregon Coalition of Health Care Purchasers educational seminar and national webcast. This seminar focuses on understanding the federal law traps and pitfalls associated with the use of incentives and … Continue Reading

Victory For Employers in Washington Medical Marijuana Case

In a victory for employers, the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act (“MUMA”) does not protect medical marijuana users from adverse hiring or disciplinary decisions based on an employer’s drug test policy. Click here to download a copy of the decision in Roe v. Teletech Customer Care Management. The lawsuit and … 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: 2011 Legislative Session Preview

Oregon’s 76th Legislative Assembly convened on February 1, 2011. The Legislature has wasted no time introducing a multitude of new labor and employment bills, some with potentially far reaching effects. Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the more interesting bills up for debate: Civil Rights: HB 2035 — Standardizes statute of limitations period for filing … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives/SHRM Ninth Annual Labor and Employment Conference!

Please join us for our Ninth Annual Stoel Rives/SHRM Labor and Employment Law Conference on March 10 at the Oregon Convention Center!  This year’s theme is "HR Horror Show." We have an all star lineup this year, including keynote speaker David Rabiner, lunchtime speaker Ed Reeves, and a variety of presentations by Stoel Rives attorneys on … Continue Reading

Oregon Supreme Court Allows Greater Punitive Damage Award in Some Employment Cases

The Oregon Supreme Court has recognized an exception to limits on punitive damage awards in certain employment cases where the compensatory damages are low.  In Hamlin v. Hampton Lumber Mills, Inc., the Oregon Supreme Court considered the case of a plaintiff who was injured on the job and whose employer failed to reinstate him as required … 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

Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Oregon Mandatory Meeting Law

Last week a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit aimed at blocking SB 519, the Oregon law the prohibits employers from requiring employees to attend meeting about, among other things, labor unions.  Click here to read the District of Oregon’s opinion in Associated Oregon Industries v. Avakian.  SB 519, passed by the Oregon legislature in 2009, … 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

Oregon Legislature Passes Five Employment-Related Bills in Special Session

The Oregon Legislature recently completed its 2010 Supplemental Session.  Among the bills passed by the legislature include five employment-related bills.  Click on the bill number to download a copy of the actual bill: SB 996:  Expands protections for public employees who report law violations or safety dangers to include discussions on those topics with elected … 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

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

Oregon Employers: Download SB 519 (Mandatory Meeting Ban) Notice Here!

Back in June, we reported on Oregon SB 519 – the law taking effect January 1, 2010 that will prohibit Oregon employers from disciplining any employee who refuses to participate in communications concerning the employer’s opinions on religious or political matters – including labor unions.  SB 519 also requires ALL Oregon employers to post a … Continue Reading

Oregon Expands Flu Hotline

Beginning today, November 12, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) is offering expanded service on the Oregon Public Health Flu Hotline.  Oregonians can call 1-800-978-3040 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, or 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays for information on the flu, including the H1N1 (or "swine flu") virus.  Three services … 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

New TSA Regulations Potential “Gotcha” For Employers Interviewing Out-of-Town Candidates

As the economy rebounds (we hope) and hiring begins again, employers flying out-of-town job candidates in for interviews will need to be wary of new Transportation Security Administration ("TSA") regulations that require anyone booking air travel to provide the passenger’s date of birth and gender.  Employers who are not careful about how they implement this … Continue Reading

President Obama Orders Federal Employees Not to Text While Driving

Last week, President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting all federal employees from text messaging while driving on official business or while using government equipment.  Click here to read President Obama’s executive order on texting while driving.  While President Obama’s order does not effect private employers, it does directs federal agencies to encourage contractors and their … 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
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