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Salem Legal Blog

Wage issues can seriously affect Oregon workers

Individuals at any level of work could face issues with their pay. In some cases, Oregon workers may feel as if their paychecks are a bit off or may find themselves not getting paid at all. When such serious wage issues arise, it is wise for workers to explore their options for effectively handling this type of problem.

First, it is important to understand when wage theft has occurred. If a person works over 40 hours a week and qualifies for overtime pay but does not receive that extra pay, he or she may have been the victim of wage theft. Other examples include not paying minimum wage, not paying workers for all of the hours worked or not paying workers at all.

Paid time off v. FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows those living in Oregon to take up to 12 weeks of leave from their position to care for their family or to recover from medical complications without fear that they will lose their job. Generally speaking, the law is designed to allow individuals to achieve a better balance between their professional lives and their personal lives, however, there are strict requirements and guidelines that must be met before an employee can take a qualified leave of absence.

 

Retaliation could be a concern after filing formal complaints

If a worker believes that he or she has experienced wrongdoing on the job or that wrongdoing involving others has occurred, that person may choose to file a formal complaint. In some cases, these complaints could go to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for review. If Oregon residents who work in local government do file such complaints, they may want to remain on the lookout for retaliation.

Employers could respond to EEOC complaints in various ways. However, if they do not respond properly it could spell trouble for the employees. For instance, an employer could simply disregard the complaint and do nothing about it. As a result, the issue may not be addressed, and further action may be needed in order to ensure that the complaint obtains the attention it deserves.

Employment discrimination due to age continues to be a concern

Many older Oregon residents undoubtedly enjoy their jobs as city employees. They may continue to look forward to their duties and the interactions they have with numerous people on a daily basis. However, it may be disheartening to some older workers when they face employment discrimination.

It was recently reported that a survey was conducted that looked at age discrimination in the workplace. The results of the survey found that 60% of individuals age 60 or older believe that older employees do face discrimination in the workplace, and 43% of individuals younger than 45 held the same belief. A substantial number of those polled who are over the age of 60 indicated that they feel that their age does put them at a disadvantage when attempting to find employment.

Business owners may want to prepare for commercial law issues

Running a business is no easy task. Oregon business owners do not only have to ensure that their company operations run smoothly, but they also have to do their best to mitigate the chance of having legal claims brought against their companies. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for businesses to face commercial law issues, but they can work to prevent and prepare for them.

One of the most important aspects to remember is that words and actions can reflect heavily on a company. If a business owner or employee says the wrong thing, it is possible that others may consider it libelous or slanderous. Unfortunately, such accusations could land a company in hot water and result in it having to defend itself. Therefore, owners and employees alike should remain careful in their actions.

Four things to know about forming an LLC in Oregon

Thanks to their tax and liability benefits, many people who choose to start a business organize their new venture as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). However, although many online services will claim they can start your company in a few easy steps, the process requires careful consideration.

Here are five things to keep in mind as you move forward with your plans to start an LLC:

New bill calls for better policies against discrimination

It is a challenge for public employees to stand up to workplace discrimination when they are not aware of the tools available to them. While most employees understand that it is illegal for their employers to discriminate against various protected statuses, they might not know precisely what they can do about it.

The Oregon Senate recently passed a bill that aims to change that.

City employee seeks whistleblower protection after outing issues

It is not unusual for workers to find themselves in dilemmas when it comes to reporting issues within a company. Some workers may honestly report an issue to their superiors and believe that the problem will be handled but then feel shocked when those superiors attempt to brush off the issue. If the problem is serious enough, the worker may feel the need to take additional action and seek whistleblower protection.

Salem readers may be interested in such a case that recently began in another state. According to reports, the worker was a city employee for the IT department, and during the course of his duties, he discovered major security issues within the department. He learned that sensitive employee information, like personal information and Social Security numbers, was exposed and that over $500,000 had been stolen from the city by hackers.

Can you recover damages for workplace harassment?

Regardless of where you work, you probably expect your employer to provide a safe environment, where you are treated with dignity and respect. But reports suggest that was not the case for eight former Oregon legislative interns.

Some officials assert that no changes in the law, initiatives or amount of money could make up for your mistreatment at work. However, the Oregon Legislature and Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) recently reached a $1.1 million settlement for the women who reported experiencing workplace harassment during their time at the Capitol.

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Daemie M. Kim
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