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Oregon union hit by today’s Supreme Court ruling

June 30, 2014 --

By Oregon Small Business Association

The Supreme Court made a ruling that will have a big impact on unions — including Oregon. Today the Court ruled that an Illinois health care union could not force in-home health care workers to pay fees for the union’s collective bargaining costs. Oregon and Washington are among the select states (California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Vermont) that have state unions that force in-home health workers to join a union and pay dues. Below is a news release from the National Right to Work Defense Fund that explains the decision on the Harris v. Quinn case.

National Right to Work Defense Fund Press Release

National Right to Work Foundation attorneys defend home-based personal care providers forced into union ranks

Washington, DC (June 30, 2014) – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in a case over whether Illinois homecare providers can be forced into union ranks against their will.

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Chart: US beats world in sports attendance

June 27, 2014 --

Patrick Emerson PhD ,

OSU Economist
Oregon Economics Blog

Once again The Economist comes through with a fun chart:

Note the MLS is the sixth highest average attendance soccer league in the world.  I would, however, argue that this should be normalized by population to make a rank comparison. Oh wait, there it is in the last column – economists think alike!

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Supreme Court affirms employee free speech rights

June 26, 2014 --

bullard-law2By Bullard Law,
Portland law firm

On June 19, 2014, in Lane v Franks, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that the First Amendment protects a public employee who provides truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena, outside the scope of his/her ordinary job duties. Sworn testimony in a judicial proceeding is a quintessential example of “citizen speech.” Anyone who testifies in court bears an obligation to tell the truth that is separate and distinct from any obligation the testifying public employee may owe to his/her employer. Thus, even testimony concerning information learned solely in the course of employment can be considered citizen speech for First Amendment purposes.

Underlying Dispute and Lower Court Holdings

Edward Lane directed a federally-funded program operated by the Central Alabama Community College. In the course of an audit, Mr. Lane discovered that a state legislator on the program’s payroll was not actually performing any job functions. For that reason, Mr. Lane terminated the legislator from the program.

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Paid sick leave law spreads

June 25, 2014 --

by Betsy Earls
Associated Oregon Industries
Oregon’s largest business advocate

On, June 18, the Eugene City Council voted to draft an ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to workers. The ordinance is expected to be ready for a hearing July 21, and a vote July 28. The council also voted not to send the ordinance to voters to decide in November.

Regardless of attempts to hustle the ordinance along, a group of business interests is considering ways to mitigate the impact of the council’s action. The Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) is an organization that provides social media, research and campaign support to candidates, and issues campaigns that promote economic growth. HCI’s Eugene Chapter recently convened a roundtable discussion to create a strategy to limit the city council’s ability to promulgate ordinances and regulations that inhibit economic growth.

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NIke’s new hi-tech baseball shoe

June 24, 2014 --

nksheBy NIKE,

Baseball is a game of incremental advances and steady progress – from first to second, from the minors to the majors – and traditionally, that same progression has been mirrored in the sport’s technology. Enter the Nike Vapor Collection: ultra-light, ultra-fast equipment engineered to accelerate baseball athletes to the next level.

Nike Vapor represents supernatural speed and the product attributes required to attain it, with lightweight support and lockdown fit. In baseball, speed is the difference between being safe or out, and winning or losing. By enabling athletes to be faster, the Nike Vapor Collection shrinks the field and helps push the game of baseball to new levels. Highlighting the collection, the innovative Nike Lunar Vapor Trout is built with ultra-light cushioning and designed for speed.

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Agencies attack restrictions on employer speech: Part 1

June 23, 2014 --

Ater Wynne LLP
NW Law frim

The EEOC and NLRB continue to target employers who restrict employee speech and conduct, especially when those restrictions could impact employees’ rights under labor and employment laws.

The EEOC recently filed suit attacking the use of certain terms in employer settlement agreements, this time against CollegeAmerica, a private college based in Salt Lake City. The EEOC alleges that CollegeAmerica conditioned an employee’s separation benefits, among other things, on her promise not to file a complaint or grievance with any government agency or to disparage CollegeAmerica. When the employee filed a charge against CollegeAmerica with the EEOC alleging discrimination and retaliation, College America promptly filed an action against the employee in state court for breach of the agreement.

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Big Data can save newspapers from extinction

June 20, 2014 --

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Rich Cooper
Vice President of Research & Emerging Issues.

For four years I had the job growing up that a lot of young men had—I was a “paperboy” for the local newspaper, in this case The Pittsburgh Press. This was back in the Stone Age, as my kids would call it, before the Internet when the news actually came to your front door and not your immediate fingertips via an electronic screen.

My old first job has certainly changed as larger delivery services have replaced the local paperboy/girl routes but no industry has probably encountered greater change and disruption as the newspaper business. The reason—the Internet.

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Liqour change will not be on November ballot

June 19, 2014 --

Associated Oregon Industries
Oregon’s largest business advocate

Supporters of a move to privatize sales of liquor in Oregon have decided to drop back and regroup for another election cycle. On Wednesday, Oregonians for Competition decided that in the face of continuing legal challenges, there wasn’t enough time to collect signatures on their preferred measure.

Supporters were working with two possible versions of their initiative petition, but the one they preferred was tripped up by a May 30 Oregon Supreme Court decision requiring a rewrite of the title. The rewrite and re-review of the new title by the Court would have eaten up another two weeks of signature gathering time. With a July 3 deadline to submit signatures to the Secretary of State, proponents were faced with the choice of gathering signatures on their less-preferred, but qualified version, or withdrawing entirely.

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Who’s laying off, exiting Oregon?

June 18, 2014 --

osba-logoWho’s Laying Off & Moving?
By Oregon Small Business Association

Vestas’ 200 Oregon jobs soon gone with the wind

As of early May, the Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems, is increasingly pointing all turbines towards Colorado. All indications by Chris Brown, Vestas’ North American President, point towards “site simplification” in mile-high territory. In August of 2010, Vestas employed about 400 sales and service people in Oregon, with a promise of adding 100 more employees over five years. This was on the heels of an $8.1 million, 15-year interest-free loan from Portland for its $66 million Pearl District headquarters. Since then, repeated years of unprofitable quarters and cost-cutting measures have reduced Vestas Portland to about 200 people, and those jobs appear soon to be gone with the wind.

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Should business fret latest GDP negative growth?

June 17, 2014 --

by Bill Conerly, Oregon economist
Conerly Consulting, Businomics
One Down Quarter for the Economy Is Not a Recession

The rough rule of thumb is that a recession has two or more consecutive quarters of declining real GDP.* Why not just one quarter? We have a good example of why not just one quarter in the first quarter of 2014. The Bureau of Economic Analysis just revised its estimate of that quarter and it’s negative: a decline of one percent from the preceding quarter.


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