Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Showing posts by Lorraine Hoffman

Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Feb 23 2017
Employee BenefitsLeave Laws  

Paid sick leave under fire in Oregon

Nine Oregon counties have successfully sued the state, claiming that the Oregon sick leave requirements, which took effect on January 1, 2016, create an unfunded mandate and therefore violate the state constitution. This means that unless the state appeals the decision, the counties who brought the lawsuit don’t have to provide paid…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Dec 15 2016
Wage and Hour  

DOL challenges court’s freeze of overtime rules

The battle over the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s overtime rules isn’t over yet.

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Nov 16 2016
Harassment & DiscriminationTermination & Resignation  

Listen to both sides of the story before making any adverse employment decisions

An incomplete investigation into harassment allegations resulted in the wrong employee being terminated and costly litigation for the employer. A female EMT driver was the victim of unwanted sexual advances from a male dispatcher, and apparently brushed it off until he sent her a graphic text containing a photo of…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Nov 03 2016
Q&ALeave Laws  

Q&A: Do small businesses with some common ownership have to count combined employees for FMLA and other laws?

Question: I handle HR functions for four separate but related family-owned companies. Each company is fairly small, but altogether there are 65 employees. The companies have some overlapping ownership, but they aren’t owned by exactly the same people. Do I have to worry about family leave laws, since each company is well under the employee threshold to trigger coverage?

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Oct 24 2016
Q&A  

Q&A: Think twice before posting political signs at work

Question: Our company feels strongly about a measure on this year’s ballot. Can we distribute literature and post campaign posters on the issue?

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Jun 03 2016
Employee BenefitsLeave Laws  

Oregon BOLI updates regulations on social media, OFLA, and domestic workers

In response to 2015 changes to employment laws, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has finalized revised administrative rules regarding employees’ social media accounts, medical insurance during Oregon Family Leave, and domestic workers. Social Media: Employee Use and Privacy This revision clarifies that, not only is it an unlawful employment practice to…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Apr 08 2016
Q&ADisability  

Employees with Fragrance Sensitivity: Addressing Request for a Fragrance-Free Workplace

Question: We have an employee who has indicated that he is allergic to all fragrances and has requested that we prohibit anyone from wearing perfume or cologne in the workplace, banning the use of any scented products. Do we really have to tell our employees what kind of laundry detergent they can and cannot use and that they can’t wear perfume or cologne to work?

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Mar 18 2016
Wage and Hour  

Employers liable for double damages for exempt status misclassification

A call center employer in Idaho has been ordered to pay misclassified employees not only for their actual unpaid overtime, but also an equal amount as liquidated damages, doubling the company’s liability. The employer had classified its “trainers” as exempt from overtime pay based on the supervisory and management tasks that they thought the…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Feb 08 2016
Q&ADrug and Alcohol  

Marijuana in the workplace: Can we prohibit impairment?

Q: We know marijuana can stay in a person’s system for a long time, and are most concerned about preventing employees from coming to work impaired by marijuana. Can we change our Drug and Alcohol policy to prohibit “impairment” at work rather than “any detectable level”?

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Jan 13 2016
Harassment & DiscriminationHiring  

New guidance for employers conducting internal I-9 audits

In an effort to ensure that employers follow best practices and do not engage in discriminatory practices, the US Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Homeland Security’s US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have issued joint guidance for employers who choose to conduct internal audits of their Form I-9s to ensure that the audits are conducted properly and do not discriminate against employees.

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