I recently read an article that was about policymakers developing laws to safeguard and protect needy students from lunch shaming. Young children who are part of the free lunch program are stigmatized, made fun of and shamed because they cannot afford to buy school lunches. This got me to thinking: Why is it that (supposedly most) parents teach their children to be kind to others, follow the “Golden Rule” and not be bullies yet kids … Read more
Jul 13, 2017
The Fair Work Week Act: New Work Schedule Restrictions on the Horizon for Certain Oregon Workers and Employers
The Oregon legislature passed the Fair Work Week Act (SB 828) on June 29, 2017 and the potential new law awaits Governor Brown’s signature before implementation. If implemented, the new law would be the first of its kind adopted by a U.S. State.
Supporters claim passage of the Fair Work Week Act as a win for workers in the retail, hospitality and food service industries. Opponents of the Fair Work Week Act criticize … Read more
May 9, 2017
Perhaps it’s not surprising but public employees take significantly more time off from work than workers in the private sector. As pointed out in Steven Malanga’s City Journal article, there are various causes promoting this difference between employees in the private and public sectors. Among other things, public sector employees can often retire on full disability while continuing to work full time in other jobs. Many jurisdictions such as New York City apparently offer … Read more
Apr 6, 2017
City, county and state governments throughout the United States often enact measures to protect or promote favored business groups. The City of Portland’s efforts to protect the cab companies through ordinances limiting the rates and services of other businesses that transport individuals within the metro area such as airport limos, Uber and Lyft recently received judicial approval from the Ninth Circuit in Speed’s Auto Servs. Group v. City of Portland, 2017 U.S. App Lexis 5551 … Read more
Apr 3, 2017
A recent decision from our federal appeals court ruled that drivers of the Yellow Cab Company in Phoenix, Arizona are not employees of the cab company but, instead, are independent contractors who are not entitled to the minimum wages required by either Arizona law or the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The decision was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirming a trial court decision issued by … Read more
Mar 7, 2017
The Oregon Supreme Court has just ruled that a City Council or other government body can be punished for committing an unfair labor practice if one of its members criticizes the public employee unions to which the city’s employees belong.
In AFSCME Council 75 v. City of Lebanon, 360 Or 809 (2017) the Court held that the City could be sanctioned for an unfair labor practice if one member of the Council, in a letter … Read more
Feb 22, 2017
It’s often assumed that all civil rights laws forbid discrimination which the law considers somehow wrongful or “invidious” while ignoring the fact that many “civil rights laws” actually require discrimination. McDonald’s assumed that it complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by serving only customers in cars at the drive through window at its late-night outlets because it was not wrongfully discriminating against disabled customers who couldn’t drive. Thus, McDonald’s claimed that it complied … Read more
Feb 9, 2017
Mandated Exceptions to Confidentiality Provisions in Employee Agreements; The Government’s Campaign to Promote the Snitch
Employers often insist that their employees sign written agreements promising not to disclose confidential information concerning their employer to anyone during and following their employment. Of course such agreements frustrate governmental agencies which want to encourage employees to complain to them.
Thus, federal agencies are now invalidating and refusing to recognize employee confidentiality agreements which do not explicitly acknowledge and alert the employee of their right to file a charge or complaint against the employer … Read more
Jul 19, 2016
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued new rules governing overtime pay which will automatically extend eligibility for overtime pay to an estimated 4.2 million workers. Under the new rules, which will take effect on December 1, 2016, most salaried workers earning less than $913.00 a week ($47,476.00 annually) will be entitled to collect overtime pay. This newly prescribed salary level is more than double the current amount ($455.00 per week or $23,660.00 per … Read more
Jun 28, 2016
Beginning July 1, 2016 Oregon has two different minimum wage rates depending on where in the state an employee works. Here is the link to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) summary of which minimum wage rate must be paid where in Oregon.