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.

Don’t Forget to Update Your Anti-Discrimination Policies: Oregon Workplace Fairness Act Goes into Effect October 1, 2020

Although it may be the understatement of the century, a lot has happened in Oregon in 2020. An employer could be forgiven for overlooking that SB 726 – the Workplace Fairness Act (WFA) – goes into effect on October 1, 2020, nearly 16 months after it…
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FFCRA Update: DOL Revises Rules In Response to Court Ruling

As previously discussed, a New York court recently struck four provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The ruling left many employers outside of New York wondering the extent to which the decision impacted them…
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FFCRA Update: Court Strikes Four Employer-Friendly Rules

On August 3, 2020, a federal court in New York struck four key Department of Labor (DOL) employer-friendly rules implementing the Families Firsts Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Pursuant to the court’s ruling, more employees will be able to take…
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Treasury Releases Guidance on Temporary Deferral of Employee Payroll Taxes

On Friday, August 28, Treasury released Notice 2020-65, which provides guidance to employers that wish to implement President Trump’s Executive Order allowing a temporary deferral of employee-side Social Security taxes.
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What Does the Trump Order on Tax Deferrals Mean for Employers?

On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to allow employers a temporary deferral on withholding, collecting, and remitting certain employment taxes. This is not a tax forgiveness, at least at…
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Oregon OSHA Releases Proposed Temporary Workplace Safety Rules for COVID-19

On August 17, 2020, Oregon OSHA released its draft temporary rules aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon OSHA will accept public comment on the proposed rules through Monday, September 7, and will implement the temporary rules – which…
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Learning Pods as a Pandemic-Era Education Choice – Where to Start

It's a sad fact that many parents with school-aged children are living in a state of anxiety, whether they are preparing for a fall of remote learning or bracing themselves to send their children back to in-person school. A supportive and safe…
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How Employers Should Handle Political Speech in the Workplace

During this time when we are seeing protests related to Black Lives Matter and COVID-19, and as political campaigns start to heat up, it can be expected that employers will start to hear more discussion of a political nature in the workplace…
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Reopening the Pacific Northwest: A Checklist for Employers

With Governors Brown and Inslee announcing their respective phased approaches to reopening the Oregon and Washington economies, employers need to start planning for how they will resume operations in a safe and legally-compliant manner given the…
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New DOL Guidance on Joint Employers, Summer School Closures, and Domestic Workers

The Department of Labor released new Q&A guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Among other things, the guidance provides new insight on various coverage issues relating to whether domestic service workers are covered…
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