June 30, 2014 - Oregon union hit by today’s Supreme Court ruling

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) […]

June 27, 2014 - Chart: US beats world in sports attendance

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!

June 26, 2014 - Supreme Court affirms employee free speech rights

By 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 […]

June 25, 2014 - Paid sick leave law spreads

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 […]

June 24, 2014 - NIke’s new hi-tech baseball shoe

By 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.

June 23, 2014 - Agencies attack restrictions on employer speech: Part 1

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.

June 20, 2014 - Big Data can save newspapers from extinction

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.

June 19, 2014 - Liqour change will not be on November ballot

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 […]

June 18, 2014 - Who’s laying off, exiting Oregon?

Who’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.

June 17, 2014 - Should business fret latest GDP negative growth?

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.