Hunt & Associates P.C.

Mar 7, 2017

Who Runs the Shop – Things Public Officials Can’t Say About Public Employees

Speak No Evil Monkey - 030717 croppedThe 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 9, 2017

Mandated Exceptions to Confidentiality Provisions in Employee Agreements; The Government’s Campaign to Promote the Snitch

Confidential fileEmployers 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

New Rules Will Entitle Many “White Collar” Workers to Overtime Pay

ClockThe 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

Oregon: One State, Two Minimum Wage Rates

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.

© 6/28/2016 Lawrence B. Hunt of Hunt & Associates, P.C.  All rights reserved.… Read more

May 24, 2016

Politicizing Pronouns

No one should gratuitously insult anyone else.  However, if each of us arbitrarily decide to create new meanings for any word, contrary to an accepted meaning, or to create new words unknown to everyone around us, and government then punishes anyone who does not use our subjectively created devised vocabulary as we’ve chosen to define it, the language will ultimately descend into a subjectively chaotic babble.  The purpose of language is to communicate, not to … Read more

May 10, 2016

Personal Liability of HR Directors and Other Supervisors for FMLA Violations

In Graziadio v. Culinary Inst. of America, 216 U.S. App. LEXIS 4861 (2nd Cir. 2016) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that individuals can be held personally liable for violations of the federal Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  The court specifically held that the defendant’s Human Resources Director could be adjudged personally liable for the employer’s alleged violations of the FMLA because the HR Director was also arguably an “employer” … Read more

Mar 1, 2016

When Administrative Agencies Break the Laws They Enforce Because Even They Don’t Know What They Mean – What Good Is Their “Expertise”?

Many laws give authority to administrative agencies to actually interpret and enforce particular laws. For instance, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is empowered to interpret and to enforce federal laws prohibiting wrongful discrimination in employment. The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) is similarly responsible for the interpretation and enforcement of federal labor laws.

Agencies such as the EEOC and the NLRB often issue interpretive guidelines. Those guidelines are supposed to explain what the specific … Read more

Jan 28, 2016

Update to Fairness and Fares: The Challenge to the Independent Contractor in Oregon

In a blog post earlier this week we highlighted a recent Oregon Supreme Court decision which held that taxi cab drivers are employees, not independent contractors, of the cab companies they work with. We suggested that this holding implicitly threatened the business models on which companies such as Uber, Lyft and similar enterprises in the emerging “sharing economy” have grown. A recent article in the ABA Journal concerning the recently announced settlement of a California … Read more

Jan 27, 2016

Fairness and Fares: The Challenge to the Independent Contractor in Oregon

Law often lags behind reality. In Broadway Cab LLC v. Employment Department, the Oregon Supreme Court held that a taxi company’s drivers are “employees” and not “independent contractors”. Consequently, the company is obligated to pay unemployment insurance taxes on wages earned by its drivers in 2008 and 2009.

Broadway Cab argued that its drivers performed services only for the passengers who paid the drivers and not the cab company to which the drivers actually … Read more

Sep 1, 2015

Proving Once Again that No Good Deed Should Go Unpunished

An associate in a Boston law firm claimed that his former employer had unlawfully retaliated against him by not giving him letters of recommendation he wanted after he filed a complaint of racial discrimination against his employer. His employer successfully defended the claim through trial and appeal after the court refused to grant the employer summary judgment on that claim.

The suggestion though that you have to give good letters of recommendation to every former … Read more