Oregon Non-Competition Agreements Important Considerations

Pending Senate Bill to Void Oregon Noncompetes On March 2, 2017, the Oregon Committee on Business and Transportation sponsored a bill, Senate Bill 977 — full text — that would, if passed into law, “[void] noncompetition agreements except to extent that former employee may not contact former customer or client to provide similar product, process […]

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The French Right to Disconnect and the FLSA in a Mobile World

If you and your non-exempt co-workers – i.e., hourly employees – are frequently using your mobile devices for after-hours work, keep in mind that you are entitled under state and federal law to be paid for that time.  And if your conscientious tending to emails, texts, and calls means that you’re working in excess of […]

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Oregon Employment Discrimination

Oregon employment laws prohibit certain types of workplace discrimination. Employers may be liable to employees and subjected to fines for violations of workplace discrimination laws. However, not all types of workplace discrimination are unlawful or legally actionable. It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to employ or hire an employee, bar or […]

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Oregon Unemployment Hearings and Appeals

This article summarizes Oregon’s unemployment appeal process. This information is based on my significant experience providing legal counsel to clients in these matters. Should You Hire Counsel? Most parties in Oregon unemployment matters are initially self-represented. Because Oregon applies a de novo (from new) standard of review in initial appeals of Oregon unemployment determinations, it […]

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Defending Unfounded and Negative Value Employment Claims in Oregon

“Suing solely to extract a settlement offer is rational, of course, only if there is some likelihood that the plaintiff will indeed receive such an offer.” Bebchuck, Lucian Arye, Suing Solely to Extract A Settlement Offer, Vol. 17, p. 437, U. Chicago Journal of Legal Studies, (June 1988) Smaller firms, with lower overhead and technology-proficient attorneys […]

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Oregon Physician Contracts

Oregon physicians find employment in one of the state’s many hospitals (most are nonprofits), in professional corporations, in educational and research institutions, and in other commercial settings such as the biopharma industry. Regardless of the setting, physicians are nearly always employed pursuant to the terms of a written employment contract. The Oregon employment attorneys at Vogele & Christiansen have […]

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Wrongful Termination in Oregon

Oregon employees have legal recourse for wrongful termination in very limited circumstances only. This article uses “wrongful termination” as laypeople tend to use the term – an employer’s unlawful termination of an employee’s employment. Note that “wrongful termination” has a specific meaning under Oregon law (an interstitial tort claim based on public policy). At-Will Employment Oregon follows […]

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Arbitration in Oregon Employment Cases

Arbitration in Oregon employment cases is a rapidly growing trend. The trend is not just prevalent here in Oregon – it is a nationwide phenomenon (see this May 2016 article from the NY Times). Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which parties resolve employment-related disputes outside of court. Instead of having a judge and/or jury decide a […]

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Oregon Family Medical Leave Act

Oregon medical and family leave laws provide some, but not all, employees with rights to protected time for certain medical and family issues. This article summarizes the fundamentals of the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA). In addition to OFLA, employees may be entitled to additional rights under related laws including but not limited to the […]

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Retaining A Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Successfully litigating sexual harassment cases involves more than simply identifying unwelcome harassment and filing a claim.  This article discusses some of the basic considerations employees should consider when retaining a sexual harassment lawyer, as well as addressing some of the fundamentals of sexual harassment law.  This article is not legal advice.  It is intended to […]

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Oregon OSHA and Workplace Safety Reports – Employee Rights

This article discusses Oregon laws related to OSHA reports and other types of internal and external reports concerning workplace safety. It also discusses rights and remedies available to employees who suffer retaliation due to their protected reports. Deadlines related to the OSEA are critically short, often 90 days or less, in cases involving workplace safety […]

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Filing a Sexual Harassment Case in Oregon

There are many factors to consider when evaluating how best to proceed with a sexual harassment case in Oregon. While every case is unique, this article will provide an overview of some of the most common issues that arise in sexual harassment cases. The resolution of an Oregon sexual harassment case can yield a monetary […]

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BOLI Complaint Process – Civil Rights Cases

The Bureau of Labor and Industries Civil Rights Division (BOLI) is the Oregon administrative agency that enforces several important Oregon employment laws. Employees who wish to report unlawful employment practices may file complaints of unlawful employment practices with BOLI. BOLI civil rights complaints may be filed personally or through an attorney. This article provides fundamental information […]

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What Is Sexual Harassment Under Oregon Law?

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under federal and state law. The applicable federal law, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., covers employers with 15 or more employees, while the comparable Oregon law applies to every employer of 1 or more employees. ORS 659A.030. Thus, there is a legal remedy for […]

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Oregon Employment Contracts

The employment relationship is at its heart a contractual relationship. This article will address general considerations governing employment contracts between Oregon employers and employees. This article does not constitute legal advice and specific questions about your employment contract should be directed to an experienced Oregon employment attorney. As in other jurisdictions, Oregon employment contracts may […]

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Commission Pay Laws in Oregon

Commission pay is largely a function of contract law. Employee commissions – as opposed to independent contractor commissions – are most often treated as a “wage” with all associated employee rights. This means that employees may have the right to recover penalties, attorney fees, costs, and other disbursements. Employee wage claims can provide significant leverage over employers […]

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The Basics of the Oregon Uniform Trade Secret Act

The Oregon legislature enacted the OUTSA in 1987. The OUTSA largely follows the Uniform Law Commission’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which was published in 1979 and amended in 1985. A prefatory note to the UTSA explains, “[i]n view of the substantial number of patents that the courts invalidate, many businesses now elect to protect […]

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Negotiating Severance Agreements in Oregon

Overview of severance agreements The successful negotiation of severance agreements is an art and a science.  A severance agreement is a legal document that is negotiated at or shortly after the termination of employment.  The precise language of a severance agreement is important as it will create an enforceable contract to resolve any and all […]

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Retaliation For Reporting Wage Violations Is Unlawful

Under both Oregon and federal law, it is illegal for an Oregon employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting wage and hour violations.  In particular, Oregon employees are always protected from retaliation for consulting “an attorney or agency about a wage claim.”  ORS 652.355. In general terms, retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse […]

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Age Discrimination Law in Oregon

Oregon state law makes it unlawful for Oregon employers to “discriminate against [an] individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment” or “refuse to hire or employ [an] individual or to bar or discharge [an] individual from employment” because of an individual’s age. ORS 659A.030(1)(a)-(b). Likewise, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act […]

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