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Court makes major class-action ruling

May 31, 2018 --

By David J. Riewald & Trevor R. Caldwell
Bullard Law

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that class action waivers in arbitration agreements do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The Court’s 5-to-4 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis resolved one of the most hotly-contested workplace issues in recent years, and is a significant win for employers. The decision also is yet another reason why every employer should consider requiring that their nonunion employees sign arbitration agreements, and include a class action waiver in those agreements.

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Oregon wages falling behind

May 30, 2018 --
By Oregon Employment Department,

Oregon’s economy has shown strong employment growth in recent years. That strong growth has caused the state’s labor market to tighten up, as record low unemployment rates have Oregon employers increasingly finding it difficult to fill job openings. Oregon’s average hourly wage, after more than five years of decline and stagnation following The Great Recession, finally started to show fast wage growth in both 2015 and 2016. However, as Oregon’s employment growth showed signs of slowing in 2017, Oregon’s average hourly wage followed suit, with wage growth slowing to a grinding halt beginning in the second quarter of 2017 and continuing through the first quarter of 2018. Nationally, it has been a similar story with recent wage growth. Real average hourly earnings nationally increased only 0.4 percent from March 2017 to March 2018.

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Forecast: Tax surplus, Kicker

May 28, 2018 --

Revenue Forecast Predicts Kickers, Growing Reserves
by Mark Hester
Oregon Business and Industry

State economists presented a strong revenue forecast Wednesday, May 23, to a joint meeting of the House and Senate Revenue committees. Highlights of the report included:

The Office of Economic Analysis now predicts that the state will take in about $750 million more in revenue during the 2017-19 biennium than previously estimated.

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Oregon 5th highest gas prices!

May 27, 2018 --

By Oregon Small Business Association Foundation,

Motorists in Oregon are paying the fifth-highest price for a gallon of gas in the nation this spring.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas cost $3.34 May 25 in Oregon, which is 37 cents more per gallon than the national average of $2.97, according to the AAA of Oregon.

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Tariff threats to the auto industry

May 25, 2018 --

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today in response to the Commerce Department announcement that it will launch an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 into whether imports of vehicles and auto parts harm national security:

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Court makes big employment agreement ruling

May 24, 2018 --

Supreme Court Rules Employment Agreements Barring Class Actions Enforceable
By: Heather Fossity

On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled employment arbitration agreements that prohibit employees from bringing class actions against their employers are enforceable. The 5-4 decision will have a significant impact on employers nationwide.

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‘Oregon Small Business Fairness’ petition starts

May 23, 2018 --

By Oregon Small Business Association,

Shouldn’t small business get the same tax advantages as big Wall Street Firms?

The Oregon Small Business Association, through the Local, Family & Small Business Fairness Act PAC, submitted sponsorship signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division on May 18th for Initiative Petition 2, for the 2020 November General Election. The measure seeks to make all tax rates, calculations and loopholes afforded to the largest publicly-traded companies automatically available for small and family businesses. The ballot measure is in response to Senate Bill 1528, which eliminated tax relief for Oregon’s smallest businesses, while providing the wealthiest Oregonians new tax credits to avoid paying higher federal tax liability.

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Seattle’s $250 per worker tax

May 22, 2018 --

By Wall Street Journal Editorial Board,

Twenty cities are competing for Amazon’s second headquarters. Then there’s Seattle, Amazon’s current headquarters, which the city apparently wouldn’t mind driving away.

Seattle’s city council unanimously approved a $250 “tax” per full-time employee on businesses with more than $20 million in annual revenue. Progressive council members had originally proposed a $500 jobs tax that would have turned into a 0.7% payroll tax in 2021, but then Seattle’s businesses revolted.

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Legislative Watch: What business needs to know

May 21, 2018 --

by Mark Hester
Oregon Business and Industry
The Special Session to consider sole proprietorship tax legislation has dominated headlines leading up to May Legislative Days, but Legislators will discuss several other important, ongoing topics during meetings next week.
Updates and special meetings on topics that Oregon Business & Industry is monitoring include:
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NFIB: Earnings report hits 45-year high

May 18, 2018 --


Reports of Improved Earnings Reach Highest Levels in 45-year History of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey

The Small Business Optimism Index sustained record-high levels increasing to 104.8 in April, driven by reports of improved profits, the highest in the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey’s 45-year history. Additionally, the number of small businesses reporting poor sales fell to a near record low. April is the 17th consecutive month of historically high readings, according to the survey that was released today.

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