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.

DOL Announces Temporary Rules for FFCRA

On April 1, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a 125-page temporary rule to implement emergency leave laws under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The temporary rule, which largely reflects the DOL’s previously released…
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How to Manage Layoffs During COVID-19

Terminating swaths of employees is difficult for a number of reasons. For many, the hardest part is telling loyal, hardworking employees that the company simply cannot afford to keep paying them, knowing that these employees are suddenly facing large…
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DOL Releases Third Round of FFCRA Guidance, Covering Details on Exemptions, Leave Lengths, and More

On March 28, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its third round of Guidance ahead of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) April 1, 2020 effective date. The new Guidance provides additional information regarding exemptions…
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Second Round of DOL Guidance Clarifies Intermittent Leave, Furloughs, and Other Crucial Questions about FFCRA

Late last night, March 26, 2020, the Department of Labor issued its second guidance on administering the emergency paid sick leave (“EPSL”) and emergency family medical leave (“EFML”) of the Families First Coronovirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). This new…
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Business Immigration

COVID-19 is rapidly affecting business immigration in multiple ways. Below is an outline of key impacts to date. Additional current information and details can be provided by attorneys in the Immigration and Labor and Employment practice groups.
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Poster, New Effective Date, and Other FFCRA Guidance Released from the Department of Labor

On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers regarding the protections and relief offered by the Families First…
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IRS Guidance for Employers on Refundable Credits for Covering Qualified Employee Leave

On March 18, 2020, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the "Act") providing for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for coronavirus-related reasons and creating refundable credits for eligible employers…
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Department of Labor Releases Poster Summarizing Employee Rights under Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 25, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a poster summarizing rights afforded to qualified employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Covered employers are required to provide notice to employees of their…
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Employers to Receive Special Tax Treatment for Qualified Disaster Relief Payments

The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic was recently declared a disaster under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act. This triggers special tax treatment for qualified disaster relief payments (“QDR payments”). To the extent not covered by…
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Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What Employers Need to Know

On March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the first version of HR 6201 (the “Families First Act”), an emergency relief bill with paid FMLA and paid sick leave benefits for employees experiencing employment loss due to the COVID-19…
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