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
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.
© 6/28/2016 Lawrence B. Hunt of Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.… Read more
May 24, 2016
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
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
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
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
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