Kara Cogswell

L&I Offers Some Guidance on Active Retraining Plans through Office Careers as Moratorium On New Plans Remains in Place

In early March, the Washington Department of Labor of Industries announced a moratorium on approval of new vocational plans that include retraining by Office Careers. The move by L&I followed a three-part investigative series aired by King 5 which was highly critical of the Renton-based school, contending it did not provide adequate training to injured workers to prepare them to re-enter the workforce. The King 5 series spurred an investigation by the Washington Workforce Board, but even before the series aired, L&I had started its own audit of Office Careers. As an unaccredited school approved by L&I to offer vocational retraining, Office Careers has been a frequent target of plaintiff’s attorneys. However, its basic office skills classes, in areas such… Continue reading

Final Rules Issued for Oregon Equal Pay Law Effective January 1, 2019

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) recently issued final rules implementing the Oregon Equal Pay Law, most provisions of which take effect on January 1, 2019. The full text is available on the BOLI web site here. The final rules contain only minor changes from the proposed rules (see our previous blog post for a detailed discussion). The rules continue to define “work of comparable character” as work that includes substantially similar knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions, with no single factor being determinative.” Key to this definition is the emphasis that “no single factor” will be determinative – in other words, employers should point to multiple factors to justify differences in pay… Continue reading

BOLI issues proposed rules for Equal Pay Law

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) recently issued proposed rules implementing the Oregon Equal Pay Law, most provisions of which take effect on January 1, 2019. The full text of the proposed rules is available on the BOLI web site here. Comparable Character The Equal Pay Law prohibits employers from compensating any employee at a rate greater than that at which the employer pays wages or other compensation to employees of a protected class for work of comparable character. BOLI’s proposed rules define “work of comparable character” as work that includes “substantially similar knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.” E.g., “knowledge considerations may include, but are not limited to: certifications, licenses and certificates;… Continue reading