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Criminal hiring rules go into effect soon

September 30, 2015 --

By Dunn, Carney, Allen, Higgins & Tongue

Oregon Employers Need to Prepare for New “Ban the Box” Law

Effective January 1, 2016, Oregon will become the latest state to limit the ability of employers to ask job applicants about prior criminal histories.

HB 3025, signed by Gov. Kate Brown in July, prohibits most Oregon employers from excluding an individual from an initial job interview if, prior to that interview, the applicant is required to disclose a criminal conviction (either through a job application form or otherwise). If there is no initial interview, an employer is prohibited from requiring an applicant to disclose such information before making a conditional offer of employment.

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State jobless sees large increase

September 29, 2015 --

nfib-logoBy NFIB,

Despite job growth, the unemployment rate continues to surpass the national average.

Oregon’s unemployment rate jumped from 5.5 to 5.9 percent in July, according to a recent state report. While below the 7.0 unemployment rate from a year ago, it still remains higher than the national average of 5.3 percent.

Even as hiring accelerates—the state gained 55,900 jobs in the past year and 4,600 in the month of July—unemployment continues to lag behind the rest of the country.

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New Seasons among group touting minimum wage hike

September 28, 2015 --

New Seasons was among a dozen local businesses that have come out to support a minimum wage increase.


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Oregon man surprised by $2M Verizon bill

September 25, 2015 --

A Damascus resident is gaining national attention for an unexpected $2 million phone bill which fits into a pttern of wildly erratic billing by the phone carrier. A phone carrier he only had for a short period of time. Fox News reports.

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Job Vacancies & Shadow Unemployment

September 24, 2015 --

By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Blog

With headline unemployment back to normal levels and the number of job vacancies at an all-time high, some are increasingly asking the question of where the labor will come from. This was a topic of conversation at our latest forecast release as well.

As the New York Times’ Neil Irwin writes, such conditions generally should and will result in rising wages. Only they have not, at least nationally. George Mason University’s Tyler Cowen adds an important observation that this is not so much about workers vs firms[1], but firms vs firms. In stronger economic times and tighter labor markets, firms must compete on price to attract and retain workers.

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Employer law: Gay marriage & religious rights

September 23, 2015 --

By Bullard Law,
Portland law firm
By Michael G. McClory

For good or ill, gay marriage inspires many people. They have strong feelings about it. Sometimes those strong feelings are grounded in religion and sometimes they are not. When the workplace is added to the mix, emotions tend to run high. After giving an overview of two current situations, The Bullard Edge is going to outline three key points for consideration and clarity.

Situation 1 – St. Mary’s Academy Withdraws Job Offer:

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Labor Board rule on using staffing firms

September 22, 2015 --

millernashgrahamdunnllp-logoby Petrich, Kathleen
Miller, Nash, Graham & Dunn LLP
NW Law Firm

Startups and even established companies have increasingly turned to employee leasing companies, PEOs and staffing firms to supply workers. Some view this practice as a way to minimize potential liability for employment-related claims. The NLRB recently issued a decision changing its interpretation of the standard for “joint employment,” potentially opening a company using a staffing firm to liability for the staffing firm’s own violations.

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Building car-less bridges

September 21, 2015 --

Cascade-PolicyBy John Charles
Cascade Policy Institute

The new bridge over the Willamette River, TriMet’s Tilikum Crossing, opened for business on Saturday. With beautiful weather and parties at every stop of the Orange MAX line, a good time was had by the thousands of sightseers.

Unfortunately, now that we’ve returned to gray skies and normal weekday travel, it’s clear that the bridge created both winners and losers. The big winners are light rail passengers and bicyclists. The scenic bikeway has already proven immensely popular with local cyclists, who are crossing at a rate 10 times higher than the rate previously observed on the nearby Ross Island Bridge.

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National alarm over $15 minimum wage

September 18, 2015 --

nfib-logoBy NFIB,

As large cities across the US from Seattle to Los Angeles to New York City implement or consider $15 per hour minimum wages, business owners are sounding alarms about the consequences.

In a piece picked up by USA Today, the Lower Hudson Valley (NY) Journal News reported that with New York expected to approve a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers “any day now,” business owners “fear Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push for the higher wage for one segment of the economy will force wages up across the board.” Restaurant owners like Anthony Ripani, who owns a small restaurant in Orangeburg, NY, are particularly concerned because even if their businesses are too small to be regulated under Gov. Cuomo’s proposed $15 per hour wage plan, in order to keep current staff from leaving to go to better-paying jobs, these business owners will be forced to increase wages.

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Oregon wins $1M in cancer drug case

September 17, 2015 --

logo-attorneygeneral-deptjustice222By Oregon Attorney General,

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today reached a $1.1 million settlement with Insys, the company that manufactures the schedule II opioid drug Subsys, to resolve allegations that the powerful drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancer pain was marketed in Oregon for off-label uses such as non-cancer neck and back pain. The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) also resolves allegations that the company provided improper financial incentives to some doctors to increase Subsys prescriptions, targeted doctors for aggressive promotion of Subsys when the doctor was not qualified to prescribe the drug, and deceptively promoted Subsys for treatment of mild pain. Oregon is the first government entity to settle with Insys for this alleged misconduct.

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