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Oregon jobs: Beer vs. Tech

March 31, 2017 --

By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Blog
alcsoft0916

Happy Friday! In the showdown you didn’t know you wanted but now glad you have, Oregon’s alcohol cluster has added more jobs than the state’s software industry since the start of the Great Recession. This edition of the Graph of the Week has been a regular in our office’s slide deck for some time now but we haven’t shown it here on the blog yet. Our office uses this chart as the starting point to talk about three things in particular.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Don’t Change Your Gender Neutral Bathroom Signs

March 30, 2017 --

Barran Liebman
Oregon Law Firm

By Paula Barran

The U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice issued a guidance formally withdrawing two recent Department of Education guidances on transgender students’ rights. The guidances had been issued in 2015 and 2016 and addressed the position that laws prohibiting discrimination “on the basis of sex” protect individuals on the basis of their gender identity as well as biological sex. The withdrawal announcement cites the concern that the 2015 and 2016 guidances were issued without the support of extensive legal analysis and did not undergo the kind of public process that formal rulemaking would or should require.

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How Oregonians die on the job

March 29, 2017 --

Sixty-one people died on the job in Oregon during 2016, according to a preliminary report issued today by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). That’s up from 2015’s figure of 41 deaths.

The numbers are based on a new data collection program, begun in 2015, that is designed to provide a more comprehensive review of workplace deaths. Previously released figures included deaths only covered by the Oregon workers’ compensation system. The new Workplace Fatalities in Oregon (WFO) program tracks on-the-job deaths, regardless of workers’ compensation status. As a result, the program now also includes workplace deaths involving self-employed people, city of Portland police and fire employees, federal employees, and incidents occurring in Oregon to workers with out-of-state employers.

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Ruling: Hugging can create hostile workplace

March 28, 2017 --

bullard-law2Bullard Law, Portland law firm

9th Circuit Says Hugging May Create Sexually Hostile Workplace

The Ninth Circuit held that hugging “can create a hostile or abusive workplace, when ‘[i]t is . . . unwelcome and pervasive.’”  Further, the appellate court held that the plaintiff, a county correctional officer, could proceed to trial on her claims that from 1999 to 2012 the sheriff “subjected her to numerous unwelcome hugs and at least one unwelcome kiss that, taken as a whole, created a sexually hostile work environment.”  She claimed there were more than 100 such incidents directed at her and that the sheriff also hugged other female employees.  The sheriff and the county employer denied these allegations of harassment.  They admitted to the sheriff hugging employees, but asserted that he “also hugged male employees on occasion” and that any differences between his hugging of male and female employees reflected “genuine but innocuous differences in the ways men and women routinely interact with members of the same sex and of the opposite sex.”  The case has been remanded for trial on plaintiff’s sex harassment claims based on Title VII and California law.

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Oregon firm wins World’s Most Ethical award again

March 27, 2017 --

By Ethisphere Institute

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCHN) has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as a 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company®. Recognition honors those companies who lead with integrity and align principle with action.

Schnitzer has been recognized for a third consecutive year, underscoring the Company’s commitment to the highest ethical business standards and practices. Schnitzer remains the only U.S. metals recycling company to be among the honorees.

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Dear Congress, don’t repeal debit card law

March 24, 2017 --

National Retail Federation News Release,

With Congress poised to take up legislation that could repeal landmark debit card swipe fee reforms that took effect half a decade ago, banks and the card industry have been busy spreading claims that retailers have failed to share the savings with consumers.

But a simple look at the numbers shows that those claims are simply not true.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Legislature considers Predictive Scheduling

March 23, 2017 --

bullard-law2Bullard Law, Portland law firm

Employers in Oregon could be required to pay employees for up to four hours of unworked time if an employee’s shift is cancelled or shortened.  Additionally, some large employers may be required to engage in an “interactive process” with regard to employees’ scheduling concerns.  The law also extends anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation protections to discussions about scheduling.  Senate Bill 828 currently is being considered by the Senate Committee on Workforce and is co-sponsored by twenty State Senators and Representatives.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Top 10 consumer complaints

March 22, 2017 --

By Oregon Attorney General Office,

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum  announced the annual Oregon Department of Justice’s 2016 Top Ten Consumer Complaints. For the second year in a row, imposter scam calls, such as the IRS imposter scam, came in as the number one complaint in Oregon. Imposter scam calls received more than five times the number of consumer complaints as the next category.

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New WA casino will cost Oregon to lose $110M

March 21, 2017 --

By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Blog

As the opening date for the Cowlitz Tribe’s Ilani Resort and Casino in La Center, Washington approaches, here is our office’s summary of the potential impact on Oregon Lottery revenues.

casino0317

Our office continues to refine the estimated impact of the upcoming casino in La Center, Washington (16 miles north of Portland) which is set to open in “late spring” 2017. While the casino won approval a year or two ago, legal challenges remained and our office had previously taken a wait and see approach before adjusting the outlook accordingly. Beginning with the June 2016 quarterly forecast, our office started incorporating the casino’s impact.

Read the full article and discuss it »

The week stocks were muted

March 20, 2017 --

by Timothy D. Carkin
Senior Vice President
Ferguson Wellman,
A leading Oregon financial firm

March 17, 2017 — As traders were nursing their wounds from early bracket pains, the market saw that U.S. stocks were muted this week, up 0.2 percent. Investors’ reactions to finally getting the anticipated Fed rate hike were tempered by oil production figures from OPEC, causing concern early in the week. Global stock markets rejoiced and posted their best week this year after the Fed came in less hawkish than some feared. Non-U.S. stocks rallied more than two percent with emerging markets leading the way up over 4.3 percent. 

Read the full article and discuss it »
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