On June 23, 2020, Governor Brown directed the Management-Labor Advisory Committee (MLAC) to explore any gaps in our current workers’ compensation system related to COVID-19, including at looking to whether a presumption of compensability is needed to ensure workers are protected under the current system. The governor instructed the committee to provide a response by mid-July to prepare for an upcoming legislative session. MLAC held six meetings to take testimony from workers, attorneys, employers, insurers, administrators, and state officials discussing a list of potential issues. The issues were categorized into worker’s compensation issues MLAC could address and health/safety issues that MLAC could make recommendations, but ultimately would need to be addressed by other agencies. Ultimately, MLAC could not reach a… Continue reading
As Oregon employers continue to face unique issues in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus, SBH has assembled this list of commonly asked questions addressing workplace rights and responsibilities for incident reports, workers’ compensation claims, and other employment-related concerns. When should an OSHA Injury and Illness Incident report be filed? OSHA has deemed COVID-19 a recordable illness when an employee of a covered employer is infected on the job. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/standards.html Employers should file an incident report if either: An employee has tested positive for COVID-19; or The employee was exposed at work to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Further, employers must report the death or in-patient hospitalization of any worker due to an on-the-job injury by calling… Continue reading
Join SBH for the next Employer Disability and Leave Roundtable September 10, 2019. We invite you to join us September 10th for the next Kaiser Permanente/Sather Byerly & Holloway Employer Disability and Leave Roundtable. SBH’s Rebecca Watkins and Dr. Carrie Davino-Ramaya will host a roundtable discussion of real-life leave scenarios and share their insights on how to address various disability and leave requirements under state, federal and local laws. Dr. Davino-Ramaya will provide insights from a medical perspective on leave and disability certifications. This is a great opportunity to explore the legal and medical aspects of leave, as well as connect with other employers and HR professionals in the metro area. When: September 10, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30… Continue reading
After several months of deliberation, the board passed new rules requiring translation of non-English documents for hearing. OAR 438-007-0045. The parties can either stipulate to the translation, or the party offering the document must include an English translation. Any dispute regarding the translation will be resolved by the ALJ and the ALJ can consult any person or entity the judge deems to achieve substantial justice. The costs of the translation can be resolved by stipulation, reimbursable to the worker’s attorney, or paid by the WCB if the judge incurred the costs. With these rules, the board also required all acceptances and denials issued on or after June 1, 2019 to include a “multi-language help-page.” The notice provides contact information for… Continue reading
It has been a busy year in the Oregon legislature, but there has been only one major change to the statutes governing workers’ compensation. Senate Bill 507 creates a new presumption of compensability for certain mental health claims filed by first responders working for public entities. If a claim does not meet all of the criteria in the new law, the worker can still pursue a mental health claim under ORS 656.802(3) without the use of the presumption. Here are the key points of the new law: Only applies to public employers; Only applies to listed professions; Employees can file injury claim on first day of job, but requires 5 years of employment for an occupational disease; Covers employees for… Continue reading
SBH is hosting its 17th annual Oregon Claims Professional Workshop on November 2, 2017 at the Holiday Inn in Wilsonville. Covered topics include lessons in investigations, the intersection of Oregon workers’ compensation and employment leave laws, issues related to the “course & scope” of employment, dealing with concussions and post-concussion syndrome, an update on Oregon appellate decisions, strategies for Job Descriptions and Functional Capacity Evaluations, and an informative session with DCBS advisors. For more information on attending SBH University, click here.
Are you an employer who offers paid family and/or medical leave? If so, you may qualify for a tax credit for tax years 2018 and 2019. Depending on how much you pay an employee while on family or medical leave, you may be able to claim between a 12.5% – 25% credit for the wages you paid to the employee during the leave. See 26 USC §45S. The IRS recently issued Notice 2018-71, which provides guidance for employers who want to claim the credit. Many employers I work with have a PTO policy that groups various types of leave into one big leave bank. The Notice clarifies whether an employer can claim the credit for an employee taking leave for… Continue reading
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
Sather, Byerly & Holloway, LLP is pleased to announce Rebecca Watkins is a partner effective July 1, 2018. Rebecca manages the firm’s appellate department. She advises employers on policy development and employment decisions. She also represents Oregon and Washington clients in court before administrative agencies on disputes relating to wage and hour, discrimination, personal injury, leave laws, and workers’ compensation. Rebecca is a valued member of our firm and we are excited to announce this addition to our partnership. Please do not hesitate to contact Rebecca at (503) 595-2134 for any employment related needs.
Please join me on October 6, 2017 as I present with other panelists in a live webinar to discuss Washington’s new Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance law. The webinar will discuss Washington’s newly adopted paid family leave insurance program including the origin of the law, the obligations on employers, benefits to employees, and options for self-insurers as well as interactions with workers’ compensation and other disability programs. The webinar will give you a better understanding of the new law and a chance to ask any questions before the state begins to collect premiums in 2019. This live webinar takes place on October 6th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. You can register here. If you have any questions… Continue reading