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Next business mandate will be employee scheduling

November 30, 2016 --

nfib-logoBy Oregon NFIB,

The next big issue for small business is on the table, and it’s called “flexible scheduling.”

“It’s going to be a big deal,” Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) said in The Oregonian. “But we really think that the time to tackle this is now.”

The flexible scheduling legislation would require some employers to give employees scheduling changes ahead of time.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Signs of Oregon’s big Gig economy

November 29, 2016 --

osba-foundation-logoBy Oregon Small Business Foundation,

By now, millions of Americans have hitched a ride on Uber, stayed overnight in an Airbnb, funded a Kickstarter project, or hired someone on TaskRabbit to do the odd job. Last New Year’s Eve, more than 20,000 Portlanders used Uber’s ridesharing service.

By now, millions of Americans are driving for Uber, renting out their homes on Airbnb, developing a Kickstarter project, or picked up the odd job on TaskRabbit. The City of Portland has close to 5,000 Uber drivers.

For many budding entrepreneurs, the “gig economy” helps pay the bills while they are building their startups. Uber reports that more than 200 Portland entrepreneurs drive for the ridesharing service in addition to running their small businesses.

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Seattle #1, PDX 6th in nation for new high rises

November 28, 2016 --

chartcrnsBy Oregon Small Business Foundation,

If you want to know how the construction business is doing in your city – just look up. Look for the construction cranes. This year Seattle topped the list nationwide, with 58 construction cranes, 18 more than Los Angeles, more than New York and San Francisco combined, and twice as many as Chicago, Washington, D.C., or Portland. Portland, at 22 cranes, is one of the top cities for mid and high rise construction.

Seattle has 16 more cranes than in 2015, and the cranes are also in demand in surrounding cities, with 20 cranes on the east side. Some of the cranes are so close together that adjacent operators have to coordinate movements to avoid hitting each other.

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Oregon job growth nearly double U.S. average!

November 23, 2016 --

jobsOregon Continues Strong Job Growth in October
By Oregon Employment Department

Oregon added 6,100 nonfarm payroll jobs in October, continuing a trend of strong job growth. Since October 2015, Oregon added 55,400 jobs, which was a gain of 3.1 percent. This growth rate is nearly double the national job growth rate of 1.7 percent over that period. Oregon’s September nonfarm payrolls were revised upward by 1,900 jobs to a new reading of a gain of 4,300 jobs.

In October, Oregon gains were led by two industries which each added 1,800 jobs: construction and health care and social assistance. Next in line were leisure and hospitality, which added 1,000 jobs; government, which also added 1,000; and retail trade, which added 900. Only one major industry declined substantially in October, as professional and business services dropped by 1,200 jobs.

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When an employee demands extended leave

November 22, 2016 --

bullard-law2Bullard Law, Portland law firm

In the (fictional) mailbag today The Bullard Edge fields a question from Wendy, the HR Director at Mid-Town Medical Center. Wendy asks about an employee who is demanding an extended medical leave (seven months have been taken already). Although the employee is not cooperating, she has thrown out buzzy words: disability, reasonable accommodation, EEOC, and lawsuit. Wendy is concerned about these buzz words and wants to know what her options are. Here is Wendy’s question and our response (which includes an editorial regarding EEOC’s press release practices).

Wendy’s Question:

I am in a bit of an ADA pickle. This is one of those situations with all of the buzz words and no answers ~ unless you have an answer (and I hope you do).

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Oregon mixed economic news

November 21, 2016 --

chart-duy-nov16University of Oregon Economic Indexes
By Tim Duy
Oregon Economic Forum
University of  Oregon

Oregon Statewide Economic Indicators:

The Oregon economy continues to grow with further evidence that the pace of activity is moderating as the expansion matures. Highlights of this month’s report include:

  • The Oregon measure of economic activity fell to 0.0 from an upwardly revised August figure of 1.0. Such sharp declines in the measure happen occasionally even during economic expansions. Consequently, it is important to watch the three-month moving average, which smooths month-to-month volatility in the measure. The moving average measure was 0.56, where “zero” indicates average growth over the 1990-present period.
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Can employees request Post-Election Medical Leave?

November 18, 2016 --

bullard-law2Bullard Law,
Portland law firm

By Michael G. McClory

“Post-Election Leave” Under OFLA/FMLA?

By Michael G. McClory Today’s (fictional) mailbag question comes from Chuck, who is the HR Director at Mid-Town Tires. He asks about an employee who has been out sick since last week’s election. Chuck believes the employee is requesting “post-election leave” under OFLA/FMLA. For the record, we received many great mailbag questions this week, but the staff voted for this one. Here is Chuck’s question and our response.

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WSJ on Portland’s CEO tax

November 17, 2016 --

newspapersWall Street Journal Editorial,
November 16, 2016

Portland, Oregon is famous for its modish devotion to organic foods and craft beers. Now the city is embracing a new trend that could leave local workers with a very bitter aftertaste. It’s a fresh tax on business and it could be coming to a city near you, thanks to misguided rules from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Next month Portland’s city council will vote on a plan to raise income taxes on public companies that pay their CEOs a high salary relative to a typical workers’ pay. Specifically, business tax bills would rise 10% at firms where the CEO makes 100 times what the median worker does, and 25% at companies with a CEO making 250 times the median.

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Wyden seeks answers on government hacks

November 16, 2016 --

Wyden-ron-SenatorU.S. Senator Ron Wyden
Oregon, Press Release

A bipartisan coalition of Senate and House lawmakers  asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to provide Congress with more information about a proposed expansion of government hacking and surveillance powers.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Judiciary Committee member Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., with House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich., and senior Judiciary Committee member Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, led a bipartisan group of 23 lawmakers asking for more information about the proposal, formally known as amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Unless Congress acts, these new amendments are scheduled to go into effect on December 1.

Read the full article and discuss it »

NIKE’s $720 self-lacing shoe

November 15, 2016 --

NIKE’s $720 self-lacing shoe

NIKE has rolled out to the public its self-lacing shoe called Nike HyperAdapt 1.0.   The cost for each pair will sell for $720. It plans to be on shelves for the holiday season this December 1st. Nike CEO Mark Parker praised the shoe as a big event — just as big as driver-less cars will be. It took Nike 11 years to design the shoe.

The shoe was inspired by the film Back to The Future II which featured a shoe from the future that self-laces. Nike made a proto-type recently and gave it to Michael J. Fox as a fundraiser for Parkinson’s. The shoe helped raise $6 million for disease research.   Below is a video on how the shoe works.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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