Labor & Employment Advice
Tonkon Torp has developed a Field Guide to help employers understand and implement the Emergency Oregon OSHA COVID-19 Rule (the "Rule"). The Rule, which went into effect on November 16, 2020, places requirements on all workplaces in the State of Oregon, with extremely narrow exceptions. Please fill out this form if you would like to learn more or purchase a copy of the Field Guide.

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.

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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An Employer's Dilemma: To Mandate (or Not) the COVID-19 Vaccine?

During a year in need of some brightness, December brought some great news: after emergency Food and Drug Administration approvals, first Pfizer and then Moderna shipped COVID-19 vaccines to locations throughout the United States, kicking off a mass…
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Trump Extends Suspension of Entry for Certain Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Until March 31, 2021

On December 31, 2020, the Trump Administration extended the proclamations suspending entry of foreign nationals outside the United States seeking certain nonimmigrant (temporary) work visas and immigrant visas (green cards) until March 31, 2021.
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EEOC Issues Guidance on Employer-Mandated Vaccines

The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Oregon and in states across the nation. In Oregon, Governor Brown has prioritized front-line health care workers and nursing home residents for receiving the first round of vaccines, but it is a…
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Oregon OSHA Temporary Rule for Exceptional Risk Workplaces

We recently published an article about the Temporary Rule Oregon OSHA issued for workplaces in the State of Oregon. That article covered the provisions of the Rule applicable to all workplaces in the State of Oregon. The Rule also has provisions…
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Oregon OSHA Finalizes Temporary Workplace Safety Rules for COVID-19

On November 6, 2020, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OR-OSHA) adopted the Temporary Oregon OSHA COVID-19 Rule (the Rule) aimed at addressing the effects of the pandemic on the workplace. Unless otherwise indicated, the Rule’s provisions…
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Oregon OSHA Set to Finalize Temporary Workplace Safety Rules for COVID-19

On October 23, 2020, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Agency (Or-OSHA) issued its fourth draft of the Temporary Oregon OSHA COVID-19 Rule (the Rule) aimed at addressing the effects of the pandemic on the workplace. The comment period for this…
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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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Immigration Breakfast Briefing

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, 7:45 AM | Tonkon Torp LLP is hosting its annual year-end briefing for employers reviewing business immigration changes in 2019
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Tonkon Torp's Annual Employment Law Update

Tonkon Torp's Annual Employment Law Update presentation
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Roycroft Appointed to OSB Constitutional Law Section Executive Committee

Attorney Erin Roycroft was appointed to the OSB Constitutional Law Section Executive Committee in February 2021.
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Clay Creps Looks at COVID Employment Considerations for Law Firm Alliance

On February 10, Tonkon Torp partner Clay Creps was a featured panelist for an event hosted by the Law Firm Alliance, an international network of mid-sized law firms.
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Employees Getting Political? Clay Creps Talks Political Speech in the Workplace

Protests in response to political developments and racial injustice remain an active element in cities across the country. Tonkon Torp partner Clay Creps was recently interviewed by the Portland Business Journal about political speech in the…
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Tonkon Torp Attorneys Speak to Startups at December TiE XL Boot Camp

On December 9, Tonkon Torp attorneys Tyler Harkness, Parna Mehrbani, and Clay Creps were instructors for the virtual TIE XL Boot Camp. The boot camp provides opportunities for a cohort of entrepreneurs to connect with experts in the startup community…
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Haley Morrison Provides L&E Update on ORLA Podcast

Tonkon Torp partner Haley Morrison was a featured guest on Boiled Down, a podcast hosted by the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA). Haley and Anne Hasenstab from Ward Insurance joined ORLA's Greg Astley and Lori Little for a wide-ranging…
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Labor & Employment Attorneys Brief Employers on New OSHA COVID-19 Rules

Attorneys from Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment Practice Group have delivered a series of alerts and webinars to help employers navigate the newly released OSHA COVID-19 Rule. The Rule was adopted on November 6 and went into effect on November 16…
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Employer Field Guide for Oregon OSHA COVID-19 Rule – Available Now!

Tonkon Torp has developed a Field Guide to help employers understand and implement the Emergency Oregon OSHA COVID-19 Rule (the "Rule"). The Rule, which went into effect on November 16, 2020, places requirements on all workplaces in the State of…
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U.S. News "Best Law Firms" Publication Ranks 37 Tonkon Torp Practice Areas for 2021

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® has released its 2021 edition of "Best Law Firms." Tonkon Torp is once again ranked among the nation's best for five business law categories and is top-ranked in the metropolitan Portland market in 37 practice areas.
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Erin Roycroft Joins Tonkon Torp from Oregon Court of Appeals

Tonkon Torp LLP welcomes Erin Roycroft to the firm as an associate in its Labor & Employment Practice Group. Roycroft joins the firm from the Oregon Court of Appeals, where she served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Scott Shorr for two years.
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Best Lawyers in America® Includes 49 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2021 List

Forty-nine Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 36 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021. A majority of attorneys have been named to the peer-review list in past years, and most have been recognized for more…
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