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U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Enforceability of Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court held that class and collective action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Many employers enter into arbitration agreements with employees…
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U.S. Supreme Court Restores Status Quo for Automobile Service Advisors

On April 2, 2018, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, resolved a circuit split by concluding that auto dealership service advisors are exempt from the overtime requirements under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA").
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Supreme Court to Again Evaluate Whether Auto Service Advisors Are Exempt from Overtime

On September 28, 2017, the United States Supreme Court agreed to revisit the question of whether service advisors at car dealerships are exempt from overtime. The federal FLSA exempts from overtime "any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily…
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Federal District Court Invalidates the DOL's Overtime Rules

A federal judge in Texas issued an order on August 31, 2017, invalidating the Final Rule to the so-called "White Collar Exemptions" promulgated by the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Under the Final Rule, the minimum salary level for exempt…
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Big Changes for Large Employers: Oregon Legislature Passes Fair Work Week Act

Recently, the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 828, known as the Fair Work Week Act, which will dramatically change how covered employers schedule workers. Governor Brown is expected to sign the law soon. The Fair Work Week Act applies to large…
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Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 – What Should Employers Be Doing Now?

On June 1, 2017, the Governor signed into law the Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 (the Act), expanding the current law's protection against wage disparities among employees. Currently, Oregon prohibits discrimination "between the sexes in the payment of…
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Employer Cannot Fire Employees for Obscenity-Laced Facebook Posts During Union Organizing Campaign

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act protects employees who engage in concerted activities for purposes of collective bargaining or for mutual aid and protection. How far that protection extends was tested in NLRB v. Pier Sixty, LLC, a…
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Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claim Allowed Under Title VII

For more than 30 years, the federal Circuit Courts of Appeal have uniformly ruled that Title VII's prohibitions against discrimination based on "sex" do not cover claims for discrimination based on "sexual orientation." That has now changed. Last…
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Enhanced Whistleblower Protections for Nonprofit Employees

In the wake of Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation last year, the Oregon Legislature amended Oregon's "whistleblower" protection statute (ORS 659A.203) by expanding it to include Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that receive public funds…
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Oregon Court Summarily Dismisses Manufacturing Establishment Overtime Claims

On March 9, 2017, a Multnomah County judge dismissed the claims asserted by a putative class of workers in the closely-watched case Mazahua Reyes, et al. v. Portland Specialty Baking, LLC. All Oregon non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime for…
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Company Violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) By Including a Liability Waiver with the Required FCRA Disclosure

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows companies to obtain background information or "consumer reports" for both prospective and current employees. However, it imposes restrictions on the procedure for obtaining reports, and the use of this…
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Service Advisors at Auto Dealerships Not Exempt, Says the Ninth Circuit

On January 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC, on remand from the United States Supreme Court. It held, once again, that service advisors at car dealerships are not exempt from overtime under the Fair…
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New OSHA Rules May Require Rewriting Your Employment Policies

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a new rule, effective December 1, 2016, which includes three provisions designed to promote complete and accurate reporting by employees of work-related injuries: Employers must inform their…
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Federal Judge Halts DOL's New Overtime Rules

On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction halting the United States Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its new rules related to the so-called "White Collar Exemptions," which were to be…
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Employers Can't Discontinue Health Insurance During OFLA Leave

With so many sweeping changes to Oregon employment laws taking effect in 2016, one minor but important change to OFLA has the potential to be overlooked. Until this year, employers were free to cease providing employment benefits if an employee was…
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Oregon's Minimum Wage Increase

Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon's minimum wage will increase to $9.75 per hour, and it doesn't stop there. Oregon is the first state to implement a tiered minimum wage system that sets different hourly rates in different parts of the state. The…
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Changes Imminent to Oregon Law on Noncompetition Agreements

Employers may soon bid farewell to the days when Oregon's test for enforceability of a noncompetition agreement was as simple as, "did the employee sign the noncompetition agreement upon initial employment or a subsequent bona fide advancement?"
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Summer Help Wanted!

Are you thinking about hiring high school age employees for summer jobs? If so, remember that the employment of minors (ages 14-17) is heavily regulated, both under Oregon and federal laws. This is a quick list of things to keep in mind.
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Beware of Pitfalls in Vetting Applicants for Employment: Background Checks

This week brought good news for the U.S. economy. The unemployment rate is at a five-year low with 180,000 jobs added in the month of March. As employers add new workers, many will struggle with establishing procedures for hiring.
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Will Congress Short Circuit an Employer's Right to Union Elections?

The Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2007. This Act would dramatically change union organizing and collective bargaining over first time labor agreements. If it passes, the EFCA…
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