On June 11, 2019, Governor Kate Brown signed into law the Oregon Workplace Fairness Act (SB 726), which will significantly impact all Oregon employers. The Act addresses concerns of the #MeToo movement by imposing strict requirements on how Oregon employers respond to complaints of harassment and discrimination. The legislation also significantly increases the statute of limitations within which an employee may assert a claim of discrimination, from one year to five years.
On May 22, 2019, Oregon governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2341. This bill expands on existing federal and state law concerning pregnancy-related accommodations.
On May 14, 2019, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill (HB) 2992, which imposes a new burden on employers that want to have enforceable noncompetition agreements with their Oregon employees. For any noncompetition agreement entered into on or after January 1, 2020, employers must provide employees with a signed, written copy of the terms of the noncompetition agreement within 30 days after the termination of employment.
On February 25, 2019, in a much awaited decision, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam ruling in Yovino v. Rizo, No. 18-272, 586 U.S. ___ (2019). Rather than address the substantive issue of whether an employer may rely on salary history to establish starting pay under the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Court vacated and remanded the matter on a procedural—yet still important—issue.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its highly-anticipated website accessibility opinion in Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, reaffirming the obligation to make retailers’ websites accessible and rejecting the due process and primary jurisdiction arguments commonly asserted by defendants in website accessibility litigation.
In 2019, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase.
On November 19, 2018, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) issued its final administrative rules relating to the state’s Equal Pay Law, which prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of protected class, as well as screening job applicants based on current or past compensation.
On July 24, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Munro v. University of Southern California, No. 17-55550, that an employer/fiduciary of a 401(k) plan cannot force a fiduciary breach claim under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) section 502(a)(2) into arbitration.
On July 1, 2018, a number of states’ and localities’ minimum wage increases went into effect.
On April 25, 2018, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) issued proposed rules implementing Oregon’s predictive scheduling law, Senate Bill 828, which will take effect on July 1, 2018.
Employers obtain employee health information in a number of ways—most commonly, in relation to a work-related injury or when an employee requests medical leave or a disability accommodation. Most employers understand that such information is “confidential,” but may not fully understand what that means or what they should do to protect it.
States such as Illinois, Maryland, and Oregon that have enacted laws requiring health insurers to cover certain male contraception on a first-dollar basis may be creating traps for unwary employers that sponsor high-deductible health plans.
“Once an employer becomes aware of the need for accommodation, that employer has a mandatory obligation under the ADA to engage in an interactive process with the employee to identify and implement appropriate reasonable accommodations.”
Can an employer’s perceived preferential treatment of an alleged rapist create a hostile work environment for the female employee who reported the rape? The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a jury should determine the answer to that question.
In July 2017, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3458, which is expected to be signed by Governor Kate Brown. The new law will permit employers to pay nonexempt employees in mills, factories, and manufacturing establishments the greater of daily or weekly overtime, reversing recent guidance from the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) that had required manufacturing employers to “pyramid” (i.e., pay both) daily and weekly overtime hours.
The Oregon governor is expected to soon sign Senate Bill 828, which will impose predictive scheduling requirements on large employers in certain industries. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the new law.
On June 1, 2017, Governor Kate Brown signed into law House Bill 2005, which creates considerable new obligations and areas of liability for Oregon employers.
On May 15, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the City of San Gabriel, California’s attempt to overturn the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s expansive interpretation of what employers must include as “wages” when establishing the regular rate of pay to calculate overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
On April 27, 2017, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded a district court’s ruling denying an employer’s motion for summary judgment on an Equal Pay Act (EPA) claim. In so doing, the court reaffirmed precedent and reinforced how an employer can use prior pay to account for a pay differential between male and female employees.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that whether a nursing staffing coordinator met the administrative exemption from federal overtime requirements is a factual issue that must be decided at trial.
After the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) made a surprising change to its interpretation of how daily and weekly overtime should be calculated for employees who work in mills, factories, and manufacturing establishments, last week the Multnomah County Circuit Court issued an opinion rejecting BOLI’s new interpretation.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) recently made a surprising change in its interpretation of the daily and weekly overtime requirements for manufacturers. Employers may be able to obtain a waiver from complying with this new interpretation.
On January 20, 2017, the Ninth Circuit became the first court of appeals to weigh in on several important legal issues for expensive, increasingly common background check class actions—specifically (a) the extraneous content and language in an employer’s background check disclosure forms and online screens that violate the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and (b) the standing requirements to file background check claims. In Syed v. M-I, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that (1) inclusion of a liability release in an employment background check disclosure is a willful violation of the FCRA, subjecting an employer to expensive statutory and punitive damages, and (2) this kind of violation results in a concrete harm that satisfies Article III standing, as recently clarified by the Supreme Court of the United States in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has made an important change to its interpretation of the relationship between two Oregon overtime laws. Under BOLI’s new guidance, nonexempt employees who work in mills, factories, or manufacturing establishments may be entitled to both daily and weekly overtime compensation.
Effective January 1, 2017, 29 states plus the District of Columbia will have minimum wage rates that are above the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. The District of Columbia will continue to have, as it did last year, one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country at $11.50 per hour until July 1, 2017, and $12.50 per hour after that date. With respect to state minimum wages, Massachusetts and Washington will have the highest minimum wages at $11.00 per hour effective January 1, 2017, with California close behind at $10.50 per hour (for employers with 26 or more employees), effective January 1, 2017, and Connecticut following at $10.10 per hour, effective January 1, 2017.
In 2016, 17 states and the District of Columbia implemented increased minimum wage rates. This year, even more states are scheduled to do so.