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 Secures Complete Victory – and Wins Attorneys’ Fees – in Employment Litigation Matter for Sunshine Retirement Living

In a very rare decision by a federal court, Tonkon Torp partner Haley Morrison won attorneys’ fees for the defense in a case alleging state and federal discrimination and retaliation claims. Morrison, along with local counsel from Troutman Pepper’s Atlanta office, defended Sunshine Retirement Living in the case brought by a former employee, before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

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.

Breaking: Vaccine Mandate for Private Employers Forthcoming

The Biden Administration is set to announce sweeping COVID-19 vaccination requirements that will affect large employers and millions of employees across the country. The mandate extends to all employers with more than 100 workers, requiring such…
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Mandatory Vaccination Coming Soon for Oregon Healthcare Workers

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released a new administrative rule following Governor Kate Brown’s recent announcement that Oregon’s vaccination requirement for healthcare workers will no longer offer a testing alternative. Instead, effective…
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Time to Check in on Oregon’s Workplace Fairness Act

It has been just over two years since Governor Brown signed the Oregon Workplace Fairness Act (OWFA) into law on June 11, 2019.
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Top Five Bills Impacting Oregon Employers

Five significant employment-related bills have been signed into law so far this legislative session. Some of these bills were a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the bills will have a substantial impact on how employees are treated by…
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Those Mask Rules Just Keep Changing

Well, we just issued a Tip yesterday telling you that despite the CDC and Governor Brown saying no masks are required in public places for vaccinated people, Oregon OSHA still requires you to have them at work. Not so fast, says the Oregon Health…
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Oregon Employers: Masks Still Required at Places of Employment

By now, most of you are aware of the guidance issued by the CDC, which has rescinded the mask requirement for fully vaccinated individuals in public settings, both outdoors and indoors, with limited exceptions.
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Update on Proposed Oregon Legislation – What Employers Need to Know

For this second installment in our legislative update series we have a status report on the employment-related bills discussed in our previous alert, as well as a survey of the bills that have since been introduced related to the employment arena.
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What Employers Need to Know About the American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which became law on March 11, 2021, extends the incentive to employers to provide paid time away from work for COVID-related reasons.
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What the 2021 Oregon Legislature Has in Store for Employment Law

The Oregon Legislature has now begun to meet for the 2021 Regular Session. We want to make you aware of a number of interesting bills which could impact the employment arena.
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A Far-Flung Workforce is the Post-COVID New Normal

In less than a year, Covid-19 changed nearly everything across the globe. And one of its major impacts was the definition of workplace. In March, the coronavirus pandemic sent U.S. employers scrambling to keep their businesses afloat and their…
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Webinar: How to Handle Vaccine Mandates

The COVID landscape continues to be ever changing, and vaccine mandates only add another layer of complexity for employers. Join Labor & Employment Chair Kristin Bremer Moore and Partner Clay Creps as they discuss implementing policies surrounding…
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Annual Labor & Employment Event

Constantly shifting legal guidelines, economic uncertainty, professional challenges, and personal stress have made for a tough last 15+ months for employers. Tonkon Torp lawyers are here to help.
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How to Implement OR-OSHA's COVID-19 Rule

Join our Labor & Employment group on November 10 at 10:00 AM as we discuss OR-OSHA's Temporary COVID-19 Rule. OR-OSHA intends to adopt the Rule this week and, when adopted, many of its provisions will take effect 10 days after adoption. The Rule will…
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Coffee Break Series: Preparing to Reopen

Tonkon Torp's Coffee Break educational series for employers continues with a new batch of webinars. Each discussion will include a Q&A session with attendees. Join us for this informative series and be prepared for the next stage of our new normal.
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Labor and Employment: Coffee Break Series

Tonkon Torp has launched a Coffee Break educational series for employers and we hope you can join us. The series will focus on the challenges employers will face as they reopen their business.
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Legal Considerations for Reopening Businesses

Tonkon Torp employment lawyers Blerina Kotori and Megan Reuther will host the launch discussion in our new Tonkon Coffee Break educational series for employers.
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Webinar - FAQs for Employers in the COVID-19 Reality

On Friday, April 10, at 12:00 PM, Blerina Kotori and Clay Creps of Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment Practice Group will address Frequently Asked Questions in a webinar moderated by business attorney Sherrill Corbett.
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Carlie Bacon Joins Tonkon Torp Labor & Employment Practice Group

Tonkon Torp LLP welcomes Carlie Bacon to the firm as an associate in its Labor & Employment Practice Group. Bacon has substantial experience representing employers in state and federal court, and before regulatory agencies in numerous jurisdictions…
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Best Lawyers in America® Names 13 Tonkon Torp Attorneys to 2022 Ones to Watch List

Thirteen Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 13 practice groups have been selected to appear in Best Lawyers' 2022 Ones to Watch directory.
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Three Tonkon Torp Partners Named Portland Lawyer of the Year

Three Tonkon Torp partners have been named Portland Lawyer of the Year in their respective specialties by Best Lawyers in America 2022.
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Best Lawyers in America® Includes 53 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2022 List

Fifty-three Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 39 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022
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Parna Mehrbani Presents the Case for a Diverse Workforce

Partner Parna Mehrbani was the closing speaker at Tonkon Torp’s Annual Labor & Employment Event, held virtually on June 9. Parna focused her talk on recommendations for what employers can do to encourage inclusiveness and retain employees of color.
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Clay Creps Provides Oregon Employment Law Legislative Update

At Tonkon Torp’s Annual Labor & Employment Event, partner Clay Creps provided a legislative update on employment-related laws moving through the current Oregon legislative session.
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Kristin Bremer Moore Looks at Labor Law Under Biden

At Tonkon Torp’s June 9 Annual Labor & Employment Event, partner Kristin Bremer Moore shared insight into anticipated changes to labor law and the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) that will be pursued by the Biden administration.
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Chris Morehead Guides Employers through Oregon’s Workplace Fairness Act

Tonkon Torp attorney Chris Morehead led a session on the Oregon Workplace Fairness Act (OWFA) during the annual Labor & Employment Event, held virtually on June 9. During his session, Chris unpacked key elements of the OWFA, which was passed to…
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Haley Morrison Looks at the New Reality of Telecommuting

At the June 9 Labor & Employment Event, Tonkon Torp partner Haley Morrison led a discussion on working from home.
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Erin Roycroft Unpacks Vaccine Policy Considerations

During Tonkon Torp’s 2021 Annual Labor & Employment Event, held virtually on June 9, attorney Erin Roycroft led a discussion on vaccination policies in the workplace.
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