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Oregon Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: Can i legally be terminated from my job for being called out to fight wildfires during this conflagration here in oregon

I'm a wildland firefighter through a private Company and as of lately odf and uses has needing us to help out and I'm afraid I might lose my year around job over it

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

You may have protections: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/476.576

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: Hi, I had to quit my job due to my boss yelling at me then physically trying to attack me.

Lucky a coworker held her back as I left through the back door. Now the company is not paying me out for vacation days i earned in the past year. My boss also didn't tell her supervisor about her trying to attack me so they are taking my quitting without 2 weeks notice as the reason for not... Read more »

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

Denial of your unemployment is up to the state, and given the facts above you should or should have appealed any denial.

As to the payout, they may or may not be required to pay you out on your vacation time. However, if you file a complaint with BOLI over the unsafe workplace, your former...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: My manager sent me a "Performance Improvement Plan" letter demanding a signed response by EOD. Must I respond?

Hello, I am working in a hostile work environment and on top of that - I have been given a "Performance Improvement Plan" which is actually a letter listing all "shortcomings" of my performance in my work. There are inaccuracies in this. I feel confident that I am being forced... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Aug 25, 2020

They cannot force you to sign, but refusing to sign can be insubordination, which could get you fired for cause and potentially make you ineligible for unemployment.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Sexual Harassment for Oregon on
Q: Can talking about drag queens be considered sexual harassment in Oregon

Talking about drag queen from the tv show rupauls drag race and who we like and don’t like and how could it be considered sexual harassment.

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Aug 25, 2020

Depending on the context and content, yes it could.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: Help understanding oregon labor laws for exempt

I was wondering if you can please clear up some really confusing things i am reading about oregon labor laws for exempt employees.

I am required to work over 40 hours as a teller supervisor in a call center in oregon. They say im a exempt salaried employee so i don't get overtime, but... Read more »

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

Generally speaking they cannot, but there are exceptions. See BOLI's technical FAQs for some general info: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/employers/Pages/salaried-exempt-employees.aspx

They cite to CFRs and OARs which can provide the actual rules.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: oregon labor law exempt employees

Good morning, I was wondering if you can please help me understand some really confusing things i am reading about oregon labor laws for exempt employees.

At my current employer I am required to work over 40 hours as a teller supervisor in a call center in oregon. They say im a exempt... Read more »

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

Generally speaking they cannot, but there are exceptions. See BOLI's technical FAQs for some general info: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/employers/Pages/salaried-exempt-employees.aspx

They cite to CFRs and OARs which can provide the actual rules.

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: workplace fairness and stigma

I had to leave work during the shut down to protect my loved one from possible exposure to the virus because i work for an ESSENTIAL buisness and the state issued its people to only go out for essential items, however many people were not following the policies in place so my work environment which... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jul 1, 2020

You could try reposting your question under the Employment Law/Employment Discrimination (if you feel some sort of discrimination could be involved) since it remains open for three weeks. There's no guarantee that every post is answered, but in those categories, your question(s) would have... Read more »

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.

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 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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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: How does carrying over accrued sick time work in Oregon?

I am confused about how carrying over my accrued sick time is supposed to work. At the end of 2018 I had 23 hours of accrued sick time I did not use that then carried over to 2019. In 2019 I accrued an additional 45 hours- bringing my total accrued hours to 68. I used 40. Does the remaining 28 just... Read more »

Gabriel A Watson
Gabriel A Watson answered on May 14, 2020

The answer to this question will depend on a number of factors. I would begin by looking at the policies in your employee manual or employment contract (if you have one). Often accruals, and the amount that an employee is allowed to carry over from one year to the next, are bargained for. However,... Read more »

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.

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