The WCD held a meeting to take public comment on the administrative rules related to Independent Medical Exams (IME’s) and Worker Requested Medical Exams (WRME’s). Some of the more lively discussions centered around whether IME providers should be required to produce their report within a certain time frame with claimants’ attorneys arguing medical treatment, time-loss benefits, and permanent impairment can be all be delayed pending these reports. We provided ample testimony that the current rules were adequate to address these concerns. The majority of the rules discussed pertain to the medical providers’ licensing and training. These discussions focused on confirming the WCD’s ability to sanction or remove an IME provider from the approved list of providers is consistent… Continue reading
Sather Byerly & Holloway, LLP is excited to announce its Workers’ Compensation Online Certification Program for claims examiners, employers, insurance brokers, and medical providers or anyone else interested in learning more about Oregon’s workers’ compensation system. The course includes eight online modules where students will learn about several key issues, such as: • Compensability • Claims Administration • Temporary Disability • Medical Services • Claim Closure • Vocational Benefits • Litigation & Settlement • Board’s Own Motion Jurisdiction • Third-Party Actions • The Workers’ Benefit Fund Students will also be provided with a coursebook, which covers these and many more topics. As an added bonus, each student will be assigned an attorney mentor who they can use as a resource… 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
KAISER PERMANENTE AND SATHER, BYERLY & HOLLOWAY EMPLOYEE DISABILITY AND LEAVE ROUNDTABLE Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Where: Kaiser Permanente- Town Hall Ballroom (3704 N. Interstate Ave., Portland, OR 97227) Cost: Free – Lunch provided Kaiser Permanente and Sather Byerly & Holloway are sponsoring a work group for Oregon and Washington employers related to leave management. This open-forum roundtable will allow employers to bring their questions and share their insights on how to address various disability and leave requirements under state, federal or local laws. Mike Moses, ADA Manager at Kaiser Permanente, and Rebecca Watkins, attorney at Sather Byerly & Holloway LLP, will lead the group in problem-solving discussions… 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.
In a nutshell, Oregon’s new law requires certain employers to provide advance schedules for their employees and imposes penalties for last minute changes. SB 828 went into effect on July 1st and BOLI recently issued final rules for the new law, found here. Does it apply to my company? The law applies to retail, hospitality and food service establishments that employ 500 or more employees worldwide. This includes chains and – a more tricky concept – integrated enterprises. If your company operations overlap with another corporate entity (think parent, subsidiary, franchisor, general contractor) then take a look at the factors that determine if the companies would be considered an “integrated enterprise.” Those factors include: Interrelation of operations of the… Continue reading
On June 7, 2018 the First Responder Presumption, House Bill SB 6214 became law and changed the way workers and employers approach mental health claims filed by firefighters and law enforcement officers throughout the state of Washington. Before the First Responder Presumption, all workers, including first responders, were typically prevented from filing a claim for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as an occupational disease. The new law changes this rule and carves out an exception for first responders. Now, when a firefighter or law enforcement officer files a claim for PTSD, it is presumed to be an occupational disease unless the employer proves otherwise. In other words, the new law shifts the burden of proof to the employer, who is now… Continue reading
The next annual rate increase for minimum wage goes into effect on July 1, 2018. The standard rate increases to $10.75 per hour. Those in the Portland Metro area increase to $12.00 per hour and for non-urban counties, the rate increases to $10.50 per hour. If you are not sure which category you fall into, check out BOLI’s website here for a link to the Portland Metro urban growth boundary and a county-by-county map of rates. If you have any questions regarding which rate you are obligated to pay, please contact me directly at (503) 595-2134.