Oregon Government Response to COVID-19

An ongoing list of enacted Oregon State legislation related to employment issues and COVID-19. (as of May 1, 2020) Governor Kate Brown’s executive order directs Oregonians to stay at home.  This Order “remains in effect until ended by the governor.”  As of May 1, some non-urgent medical procedures can resume if the hospital, medical office, or dental office meets the state requirements for COVID-19 safety precautions.  Additional restriction may be eased depending on numerous factors, including the declining number of COVID-19 cases, … Continue reading

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Employment Legislation – State of Washington

An ongoing list of enacted Washington State legislation related to employment issues. (As of March 18, 2020) Washington HB 2965, among other things, added $25 million appropriation from the budget stabilization account for expenditure into the COVID-19 unemployment account.  It became effective on March 17, 2020. Washington HB 2739 adjusted certain requirements of the shared leave program.  Includes a provision of shared leave for employees in isolation or quarantine as requested or ordered by a public health offiical or health … Continue reading

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COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits in Washington (as of March 18, 2020)

(as of April 21, 2020) Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD) has issued emergency rules for the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.  They have also prepared a comparison guide for some common COVID-19 scenarios that affect benefits. Here are Summaries and Questions and Answers provided by the ESD for Employers related to COVID-19: CARES Act and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)   Federal stimulus in the recently enacted CARES Act creates Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for businesses and workers affected by COVID-19.   How will the CARES Act help me? … Continue reading

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COVID-19 and WARN Act Layoffs (as of March 18, 2020)

In reviewing whether layoffs are required, there are a number of legal factors that may come into play.  One of those is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act.  The WARN Act was designed to offer protection to workers by requiring employers to provide 60 days notification in advance of plant closings and covered mass layoffs. Q:        Does the WARN Act still apply if are forced to suspend operations on account of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its aftermath? A:        … Continue reading

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COVID-19 and Workplace Safety (as of March 18, 2020)

What’s the main workplace safety guidance we should follow? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, outlining steps employers can take to help protect their workforce. OSHA has divided workplaces and work operations into four risk zones, according to the likelihood of employees’ occupational exposure during a pandemic. These risk zones are useful in determining appropriate work practices and precautions. Very High Exposure Risk: Healthcare employees performing aerosol-generating procedures on known or … Continue reading

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COVID-19 and the Union (as of April 1, 2020)

The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) imposes on employers the duty to bargain in good faith over mandatory subjects of bargaining such as wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. Generally speaking, even in emergency situations, such as this one, employers are required to bargain with the union over unilateral changes concerning mandatory subjects of bargaining, unless your collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise. Here are several questions that we have received. Q:        Are there any exceptions to the general … Continue reading

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COVID-19 and the ADA (as of March 18, 2020)

(as of April 21, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its guidance on issues concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) , and employer obligations related to COVID-19.  The Q&A Section is provided below: What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws Technical Assistance Questions and Answers All EEOC materials related to COVID-19 are collected at eeoc.gov/coronavirus. The EEOC enforces workplace anti-discrimination laws, including the Americans with … Continue reading

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Davis Grimm Payne & Marra Has Moved Offices

The Firm is pleased to announce that it has moved its office to a new floor in the Columbia Tower.  Effective September 9, 2019, the Firm’s new address is: 701 5th Ave. Suite 4850 Seattle, WA 98104-7094   The Firm’s phone number and fax number will remain the same.  Individual direct phone numbers and email addresses will also remain the same. If you have any questions concerning the Firm’s move, please call at (206) 447-0182.

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New Washington Law Restricts Non-Competition Agreements

In May 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed a new bill into law, restricting non-competition agreements in Washington.  The law makes non-competition agreements for employees earning less than $100,000 per year unenforceable.  For employees earning over $100,000 annually, it creates the presumption that such an agreement for a period longer than 18 months is unreasonable and unenforceable.  The law also makes non-competition agreements for independent contractors earning less than $250,000 annually unenforceable.  These salary thresholds will be adjusted annually due to … Continue reading

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MANDATORY ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS FOR NON-UNION EMPLOYEES

Employers are often wondering whether they should consider mandatory arbitration agreements for their non-union employees. Such arbitration agreements provide many advantages to the employer-employee relationship. As the law continues to develop, employers are asking more and more whether arbitration agreements are right for their workplace. What is an arbitration?  Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution where an employment dispute is privately resolved by a neutral third-party arbitrator, or panel of such arbitrators. Non-union arbitration typically occurs under the rules … Continue reading

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