Labor & Employment Advice
No matter the size or nature of a company's workforce, labor and employment issues are critically important to ongoing success. Tonkon Torp's relationship-based approach offers practical solutions to labor and employment issues for a diverse group of employers. We help our clients manage employee relations, protect competitive positions, deal with union activity and defend employment litigation.

Counseling & Training

Compliance is crucial. Our attorneys help companies large and small comply with local, state and federal employment laws, minimizing exposure to litigation. We identify problem areas in the workplace, develop appropriate policies and procedures to address those problems, and train management and employees to prevent costly disputes.

Counseling and training programs include:
  • The development of and compliance with policies covering harassment, discrimination and retaliation
  • Wage and hour practices
  • State and federal leave compliance
  • The ADA and reasonable accommodations
  • Employment application, hiring, evaluation and discharge procedures
  • OSHA and workplace safety
  • Non-compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements
  • Employment contracts, executive compensation and employee benefits
  • Closures, downsizing, and layoffs, including WARN compliance
  • Prevention of workplace theft and violence
  • Employee handbooks
  • Affirmative action plans
  • OFCCP audits

Labor Relations

We help employers navigate labor relations and union issues, from grievances to negotiating labor practices. We effectively represent employers in connection with the following issues:
  • Unfair labor practice actions with the NLRB
  • Strikes and injunctions
  • Union organizing campaigns
  • Representation elections
  • Collective bargaining
  • Union grievances and labor arbitrations

Tonkon Torp Brings Attorney Power to Renewable Energy Transaction

Tonkon Torp client Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA) is the North American subsidiary of one of the largest corporations in the world, the Italian electricity company Enel S.p.A. Here's how we helped EGPNA in a renewable energy acquisition.

Fashion House Dooney & Bourke Wins with Tonkon Torp

Tonkon Torp trial attorneys Scott Seidman and Colin Geiger were victorious in defending Dooney & Bourke, Inc., in a wage claims trial in the U. S. District Court in Portland. Find details and more featured cases here.

ADA Claim

Obtained a directed verdict at the close of a trial defending an ADA claim on behalf of employer/client. 

Case of First Impression

Successfully defended employer/client through summary judgment and successive appeals on a case of first impression regarding limitations on the reinstatement and reemployment rights for injured workers.

Champlin/GEI Management Company, Inc. v. Huseby

Defeated motion for temporary restraining order filed against executive in federal court based on alleged breach of noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreement.

Class Action/Employment Law

Represented the nation's largest veterinary chain in a wage and hour class action in federal court in California, including substantial motions practice. (USDC Central District of California)

Collective Bargaining with the Oregon Nurses Association

Negotiated on behalf of public hospital to successful contract.

Confidentiality Agreement Dispute

Represented business owner in confidentiality agreement dispute. Matter was settled to client's satisfaction

Eashen Liu/Providence Physician Services Co.

Represented physician in negotiating employment agreement with regional healthcare provider.

Frances Du Ju v. Employer

Won summary judgment in federal lawsuit for race discrimination and retaliation filed by former employee of international staffing agency. 

Guydish v. U.S. Bakery

(King County, WA Superior Court/Washington Court of Appeals) – Defended successfully, in trial court and on appeal, a class action seeking unpaid overtime on behalf of route sales persons for a regional company.

Hamrick v. Employer

Obtained favorable settlement for local bakery in federal lawsuit filed by former employee for disability discrimination and FMLA interference.

Jes Shelton v. Employer

Obtained favorable settlement for local affiliate of international nonprofit housing organization in lawsuit filed by former employee in federal court for whistleblower retaliation. 

Kristie Merrill et al. v. Employer

Conducted internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment asserted by one former employee and two current employees of central Oregon healthcare provider.

Lightbourne v. Gresham Cosmetic Laser Center

Represented employer in termination litigation involving allegations of workers compensation and disability discrimination. Obtained favorable settlement of all claims.

Mary Christ v. Employer

Obtained dismissal of unfair labor practice charges filed against local day spa by former employee who claimed she was terminated for union activity.

Medical Use of Marijuana Reasonable Accommodation

Successfully obtained summary judgment on employer's obligation to reasonably accommodate medical use of marijuana which was upheld on by State Supreme Court.

Multi-Plaintiff Sexual Harassment Defense

Defended multi-plaintiff sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the EEOC, resulting in a dismissal of 2 of the plaintiffs and a favorable settlement with the remaining 4 plaintiffs.

Patricia Lewey v. Employer

Obtained favorable settlement for national veterinary hospital in case involving claims of wrongful constructive discharge and intentional infliction of emotional distress asserted by former employee.

Policy Development

Assisted international athletic footwear company with crafting and implementing policies and procedures to ensure compliance with new child abuse reporting legislation.

Policy Development/Handbook Renew/Employee Training

Worked with client on policy development, handbook renew, and employee training information.

Representation of Municipal Ambulance Company

Represented a municipal ambulance company in regard to various employment and labor issues.

Sexual Harassment Defense

Defense verdict for client/employer in a sexual harassment claim by two female employees.

Shareholder Oppression Claims

Brought claims for minority shareholder oppression and employment discrimination. After obtaining partial summary judgment, we obtained a favorable settlement for our client.

Sorokina v. Employer

Obtained favorable settlement for local baker in lawsuit filed by former employee for age and gender discrimination and retaliation.

OSHA's Memorandum Clarifies Anti-Retaliation Rule

In May 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule adding an anti-retaliation provision that prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. The final…
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"Production Minutes" Do Not Constitute "Piece Work" Under Washington’s Minimum Wage Law

On September 20, 2018, the Washington Supreme Court considered whether an employer’s payment plan that includes “production minutes” or actual clock time as an employee's metric, qualifies as a “piece-work plan” under Washington’s Minimum Wage Act…
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Ninth Circuit Limits the Use of Tip Credits

On September 18, 2018, the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, considered whether fourteen former servers and bartenders were entitled to back wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for time spent engaged in non-tipped tasks.
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Does Your Intern Program Make the Grade?

July 26, 2018 is National Intern Day – the perfect day to take a look at the employment law issues that impact internships! The primary issue employers need to be concerned about is whether an unpaid or stipend “intern” is actually an “employee” and…
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Wage-Fixing and No-Poaching Agreements – Criminal Prosecution Is a Real Risk

In case there was any doubt about it, recent activity by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) should serve as a sharp reminder to employers that wage-fixing and "no-poaching" agreements are illegal and subject to criminal prosecution. These…
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Oregon Court of Appeals Expands Employment Retaliation Liability

In its May 31, 2018, decision in McLaughlin v. Wilson, 292 Or App 101 (2018), the Oregon Court of Appeals expanded liability for employment retaliation in two ways. The court held that (1) individuals, not just employers, can be primarily liable for…
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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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