Hunt & Associates P.C.

May 9, 2017

The Donut Disability and Other Ailments of Public Employment

DonutsPerhaps 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

Local Governments Get in the Business of Crony Capitalism and Union Organizing

UnionCity, 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

Are Cab Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors? It All Depends…

Taxi cabA 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)[1].  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

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