Congratulations to Karnopp Attorney, Kurt Barker who has been recognized by the Human Resources of Central Oregon (HRACO) as the 2020 HR Professional of the Year. Each year, the HRACO recognizes one of its members based on nominations by their peers.  The award represents the HR Professional’s contributions to the field of human resources through their outstanding record of involvement either through innovation, program, or best practice.

Nominees must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Outstanding contribution to the Central Oregon HR Community, i.e.:
  • Serves on the HRACO board
  • Speaker at HR-related events
  • Facilitator/Trainer/Teacher in the HR Community
  • Mentors other HR Professionals
  • An active member of SHRM or HRACO
  • Currently excelling in their position in the HR field

As the current Chair of Karnopp Petersen’s Employment Law department, Kurt’s practice continues to emphasize the counsel and defense of clients in most all employment-related matters including discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, tort, non-compete enforcement, and trade secret obligations.

He frequently lectures on employment law topics around the state and has been featured at Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries’ Annual Conference in Portland. Kurt also thrives on conducting training for managers and employees, including anti-harassment, medical leave, and other topics.

Kurt is a board member and past President of the Human Resources Association of Central Oregon (HRACO), our local chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).  He serves on the board of the Oregon Employer Council – Central Oregon and volunteers as secretary of the board for Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of the Cascades. He has served on the Bend Chamber’s Leadership Bend Steering Committee, as well.

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Free Webinar
This Thursday, April 16 at Noon – RSVP

Register to hear from local businesses representing different industries about how their bottom line has been recently impacted – and what this means for their ability to retain their workforce. We’ll discuss different approaches taken with respect to retention strategies and lay off and/or furloughs of employees, along with plans to return to regular staffing.

Cheri Helt, owner of Zydeco/Bistro 28, will share her experiences as a small business owner/employer, as well as her unique perspective and insight as a State Representative.

Dana Dunlap, Program Manager with COIC-WorkSource Oregon, will discuss the WorkShare program as an alternative to layoffs, and how local Rapid Response teams can help.

Kurt Barker, Attorney with Karnopp Peterson, will discuss what employers need to consider from a legal perspective when reducing a workforce.

Juliana Williams is the Executive Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Bend. Her team made the difficult decision to lay off a large portion of their workforce. Juliana will share lessons learned during those early days, and what actions they’re taking to ensure the team can return in the future.

Free to “attend” – REGISTER NOW

It’s a new day for Oregon employers… and nursing moms! As of September 29, 2019, House Bill 2593 became effective, calling on every employer to provide nursing mothers with a reasonable (generally unpaid) rest period to express milk.  And those breaks must be provided each time the employee has a need to express milk.

The head of KP’s employment law department, Kurt Barker, recently covered this new law and much more in front of a record-setting crowd for HRACO (Human Resources Association of Central Oregon).

Here are two slides from Kurt’s September 18 HRACO legal update about all the new laws rolling in over the next year:

2019 Oregon Legislation Key Dates

New Laws Impact Oregon Employers

It’s a new day for Oregon employers… and nursing moms! As of September 29, 2019, House Bill 2593 became effective, calling on every employer to provide nursing mothers with a reasonable (generally unpaid) rest period to express milk.  And those breaks must be provided each time the employee has a need to express milk.

The head of KP’s employment law department, Kurt Barker, recently covered this new law and much more in front of a record-setting crowd for HRACO (Human Resources Association of Central Oregon).

Here are two slides from Kurt’s September 18 HRACO legal update about all the new laws rolling in over the next year:

2019 Oregon Legislation Key DatesHRAC Key Notice Requirements

Contact Kurt Barker for more information on these new laws and key 2019 Oregon Legislation dates.

 

The Department of Labor (DOL) just announced that effective January 1, 2020, the minimum salary basis for workers exempt from overtime requirements will be raised from $455 per week to $684 per week (the equivalent of a raise from $23,660 to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker).  This means some 1.3 million American workers will become eligible for overtime pay, if not given a raise above the new minimum.

See the DOL Press Release here, and more info about the new rule (including links to the rule itself, FAQs, etc.) here.

Oregon’s 79th Legislative Assembly wrapped up its 2018 session early, on March 3 (before the Constitutionally-required sine die on March 11).  The session produced few laws that will have a direct impact on employers, managers or human resource professionals.  Here are the few that made the transition into law:

HB 4154:  Makes contractor liable for unpaid wages, including benefit payments or contributions, of employee of subcontractor at any tier. Permits a joint labor management committee and certain third parties to bring action on behalf of wage claimant against contractor.  PASSED in amended form

SB 1559:  Directs state agencies to establish procedures for employees to anonymously disclose certain information.  Expands reporting channels and protection for whistleblowing by public employees.  PASSED in amended form.

It also could be of interest that some gun-related legislation was passed, and signed on March 5 by Governor Kate Brown.  That new law expands the prohibition of gun ownership to include people convicted of domestic violence against non-married intimate partners (closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole”), and blocks people convicted of misdemeanor stalking from owning a gun.

 

Thanks for staying tuned.  Watch for more posts from our employment law team!

 

Kurt Barker, Jon Napier, and Ben Eckstein

The Oregon Legislature is now halfway through its 2018 session.  This even-year session may be a short one, but its agenda is jam-packed with bills that could impact employers across the state.

Topping most news reports is HJR 203, a bill that would amend the Oregon Constitution by declaring health care is a “fundamental right.”  The bill does not specifically target employers, but critics have emphasized that its financial impacts and funding sources are unclear.  It passed in the House last week, and is headed for a work session in the Senate later this month.  If approved by the Senate, it will appear on the Nov. 2018 ballot.

Here are some other bills under consideration that will impact Oregon employers:

  • HB 4160:  Creates family and medical leave insurance program to provide employee who is eligible for coverage with portion of wages while employee is on family medical leave or military leave. The program is funded by equal contributions by employees and employers not to exceed .5% of an employee’s wages, and would allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave per year for specified reasons.

 

  • HB 4154:  Makes contractor liable for unpaid wages, including benefit payments or contributions, of employee of subcontractor at any tier. Permits a joint labor management committee and certain third parties to bring action on behalf of wage claimant against contractor.

 

  • HB 4105:  Imposes penalty on employers with 50+ employees that offer health insurance coverage to employees but have employees working at least 30 hours/week who receive benefits of medical assistance program. Prohibits retaliation against an employee for participating in medical assistance program.

 

  • HB 4021:  Allows certain employers to permit employees to work more than 60 hours in one workweek to cover for employee absences. (This bill relates primarily to mill, factory, and other manufacturing establishments, and their particular limits on employee hours.)

 

  • SB 1559:  Directs state agencies to establish procedure for employees to anonymously disclose certain information. Expands reporting channels and protection for whistleblowing by public employees.  (More news coverage is here.)

 

  • SB 1524:  Prohibits union security agreements between public employer and union. Allows public employees to opt out of union membership and bargain employment terms and conditions separate from collective bargaining agreement.

 

Karnopp Petersen’s employment law team will report more after the session wraps in mid-March.  Stay tuned to see if any of these bills become law!

 

Kurt Barker, Ben Eckstein