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Questions Answered by Mr. Michael O. Stevens
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: I signed a contract for a school for the upcoming year and want to know if I can back out without any legal consequence

Contract says: It is hereby agreed between the Board of Education of School District #10 and the undersigned licensed staff member that the licensed staff member will teach in the schools of the district for the 2020-2021 school year. It is further understood and agreed that this contract is... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Jul 14, 2020

I doubt that is the entire contract, as those contracts usually gone on for several pages, and no attorney can give you an answer without reviewing the entire contract.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Oregon on
Q: Can I trademark Floyd D Duck? I think the trademark has lapsed
Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Jul 8, 2020

Looks like the company is still using the mark, so likely not: https://www.hersheys.com/en_us/our-brands/bubble-yum.html

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: Probation periods and how do they work?

Recently my husband was fired from his work place because he got into an accident on company time with a company vehicle. When he tried to file a claim for unjust termination, the work place told him he couldn't do it because he has no union behind him because he wasn't past the probation... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Jun 30, 2020

I would suggest contacting a law firm that handles union cases (labor law), such as McKanna Bishop Joffe, as they handle those types of cases. The probation period and rules associated with it should be in the collective bargaining agreement, which the union would have a copy of.

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Oregon on
Q: How do I get copyright of my photos?

I have a store on eBay and noticed that other sellers are using them without my permission and now I found a company using my photos .. its frustrating because I took the time, patience, and dedication to take each photo and for someone to just use them is not fair, I've tried contacting the... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 26, 2020

I'll add that the registration process is all online these days, and something like $30 per registration. But, the process takes a fair amount of time after you submit the registration before it is officially registered. As in, it is not instantaneous.

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Oregon on
Q: My dog bit someone on our property who put their hand close to our fence and threatening legal action. What can I do?

May, 2020: Our neighbor had people visiting, and they were about to leave, and my dog heard them talking loudly and ran outside. We ran outside to get her and this woman told me that my dog had bitten her. She showed me her bite mark, and it was not bleeding; it looked like teeth marks in the skin,... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 23, 2020

Turn it over to your homeowner's insurance carrier and let them deal with it. That's why you have insurance.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: can your employer force you to use their payroll card in oregon?
Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 20, 2020

If you mean the electronic pay cards, not exactly. You have to agree to it, and you can revoke that authority, but it has to be done in writing.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Health Care Law for Oregon on
Q: New Seasons Market in Oregon has a mask 'requirement' for employees. Is this legal? Can we object and not lose our jobs?

The science clearly shows many health concerns rebreathing expired air and I feel strongly about staying healthy. I've been employed for almost 9 years and love my job with New Seasons but this new policy crosses the line. How can we reach a compromise? Thank you.

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 20, 2020

Yes, they can require it, just as they can require you to wear clothing, or if you had a job removing asbestos they can require you to wear full-on respirators.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: I was fired on 05/12 at 945pm right before my 10pm shift. I haven't been paid and was told to call HR. What do I do?
Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 19, 2020

Assuming this was Oregon, your final check was due the next business day. So, you send a written demand to them ASAP and see if they pay you. You may also want to contact an employment law attorney to see what else you can do.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Oregon on
Q: Can a 15 yr old boy date an 18 yr old girl in the state of Oregon she is not 18 yet but will be in a couple months
Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 18, 2020

Date, yes. Have sex, no, he is 15. Potentially there is a defense under the Romeo/Juliet rules, but it is illegal and not worth the potential sex offender tag for the rest of your life.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: Can my employer take back commission I've earned and been paid for and also paid taxes on?

I am an outside sales person and earn a base salary as well as commission if my sales total a certian amount (i.e. $3000=30% of sales, $4000=40%, etc.). After I sale an account, it is handed over to a franchisee and I no longer have anything to do with it. If the account cancels before 120 days has... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 16, 2020

Depends on your written commission agreement: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/TA/Pages/TA_FAQ_Commissions.aspx

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: Can my employer reduce hours if I'm paid like salary, even though I'm classified as hourly?

I am an outside salesperson. When I started, I was salary + commission. A couple years ago, my boss changed me to hourly, although my pay did not change. He merely did the math on what my salary would be if paid hourly, and basically clocked me in and out for 8 hours each day. In the 6 years I... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 16, 2020

Yes, they can. Your remedy is to quit if you can find another job that pays more.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: Are Payroll records covered under Hipaa laws? Is it illegal for me to see them if I've been given access in the past?

I am 1 of 2 who work in my office. We are on our 4th office manager since I started. At times I have been the only office person for weeks and done all office duties besides Payroll. My company uses a Payroll service, but can't always pay the taxes right away, so writes us checks with no... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 15, 2020

HIPAA would not apply, as that applies to health records, but there are other privacy rules/laws that apply, so no, you should not be looking at other's records, but the violation is on the employer for not preventing you from doing so.

On a different topic, it sounds like your...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Securities Law for Oregon on
Q: Oregon. 40 hr as security, no breaks. Sup said he would take away our ability to sit as punishment. Legal or not?

Sup said bc people were putting their feet up on the desk, he would take away all chairs so we would have to stand for 8-12 hrs at a time. We do not get any breaks, no meal time or anything. We eat as we are working if we have time and often going to the bathroom we get angry people wanting to... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 12, 2020

There might be an OSHA regulation that requires chairs, so you might contact BOLI as they enforce OSHA. They also enforce the breaks and lunches, or lack thereof. If the employer also did not pay you for the lunch time, you may have a wage claim/overtime claim. As in, if your shift is 8 hours long,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: I was released from my probationary period as a salaried District Athletic Director without notice. Do I have a claim?

Employed 9/23/19-4/28/20 by a California school district. My position was hired as a non-union 'Classified Management' position with a salary of $4,700 per month. My supervisor was the district Superintendent. We only met twice during my tenure, and never once was my job performance,... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 7, 2020

You need to re-post in the California forum, as the laws do differ a bit from state to state.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: I have been getting garnishments deducted from my paycheck, but I don't owe money or no the reasoning.

I didn't even receive a notice of garnishment, till I asked my recent job if there was a reason for this garnishment.

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 1, 2020

If the garnishment was not valid, it is likely they will not only owe you the money back, but also a penalty of $200 per unlawful deduction. I would contact an attorney to discuss your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: employer goes into time clock & deducts 30 minutes from everyday I work knowing I work through my lunch
Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Apr 8, 2020

This is what we often call wage theft. They owe you all of that time.

6 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Insurance Bad Faith for Oregon on
Q: Why is the insurance company forcing me to use my PIP to reimburse me for my lost wages for a non-at fault accident?

I was in an accident were liability was determined to be completely the other drivers fault. Both of us have the same insurance carrier (Progressive). The insurance company forced me to use my own PIP to pay my medical bills. I would have rather not used my own policy (PIP) and filed a third... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Apr 8, 2020

Because that is how it works until you settle with the insurer for the at-fault party. That insurer has no obligation to pay you anything until you settle or take them to court. This is why PIP exists, so you can get medical care and lost income while you wait to be able to settle with the other... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: do employers have to pay employees for training if the employer is paying for the training

my company is paying for me to take the armed dpsst class during my normal shift hours, does my employer still need to pay me my hourly wage

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Mar 2, 2020

If you are required by your employer to attend, then it should be paid time.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Oregon on
Q: If I wanted to title a book with "Portlandia" in the name, do I need to get permission? Or is this a commonly used name?

It's being used in reference to the city of Portland. More of just a fancy way of saying Portland.

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Feb 29, 2020

Depends on how you are using it. Portlandia is a trademark for several items, see the USPTO's TESS search for details.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Oregon on
Q: What else can I do to make my deceased fathers employment office get ahold of me in order to process his last paycheck?

Hello, my father passed away last year in October and it is now February. I have called and called the agency (People Ready) my dad worked for (he worked as a carpenter through a temp agency) and I have left voicemails and even spoke to someone who said they would call me back, but no one has... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Feb 20, 2020

You might retain an attorney to contact them. A quick letter would likely not cost much, and the estate may be able to reimburse that cost. See ORS 652.190 for who is supposed to get the check to ensure you are the correct person before demanding the check.

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