18th Annual Oregon Labor Law Conference
Summary of Classes
Arbitration: Requesting Information to Help Your Members (John Bishop, McKanna, Bishop & Joffe) - To make your case you often need information that only the employer has. Getting the employer to produce information can be like pulling teeth. Don't despair! If the labor laws sometimes seem weak, they at least pack a punch when it comes to giving you leverage to demand information. Learn efficient, effective means for getting the information you need. Learn also how to use other laws besides labor laws to get information from public employers and agencies.
Arbitration: From the Arbitrators Perspective (Howell Lankford, Arbitrator) - Howell has been an arbitrator for more than twenty-five years. He has seen it all. He will discuss the mistakes that advocates make, whether it is objections to evidence or an awkward attempt at humor. Learn from mistakes others have made.
The City of Portland Sick Leave Ordinance (Andrea Paluso, Executive Director, Family Forward Oregon, Raahi Reddy, Career Instructor, Labor Education & Research Center & Jeff Anderson, Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW) - On January 1, 2014, the City of Portland's new paid sick days ordinance went into effect. What does that mean to people working in Portland? Whether represented by a union or not, the new law protects everyone who works within Portland City limits and allows them to accrue and use up to 40 hours of protected sick leave each year. Learn more about worker rights and protections under the new law as well as how it may come up at the bargaining table.
Collective Bargaining: Nuts and Bolts (Will Aitchison, Aitchison Law & Mike Tedesco, Tedesco Law Group) – Whether it be what you do during the term of the contract to prepare, how you select your bargaining team, or the ground rules at the table, there are many tips and traps of which even experienced practitioners need to be reminded.
U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Misclassification Initiative (Karen Clark, Planning Specialist, Portland Office, US Department of Labor & John Lund, Regional Representative, U.S. Secretary of Labor) - The misclassification of employees as independent contractors presents a serious problem for affected employees, employers and to the entire economy. Misclassified employees are often denied access to critical benefits and protections - such as family and medical leave, overtime, minimum wage and unemployment insurance - to which they are entitled. Employee misclassificaiton also generate substaintial losses to the Treasury and the Social Security and Medicare funds, as welll as to State unemployment insurance and workers compensation funds. This problem is not confined to any one industry: recent enforcement actions by the Department have secured back wages and damages for restaurant workers, building cleaners, cable and telecom workers, security guards, printing employees, as well as construction workers.
The Department's Misclassification Initiative, launched under the auspices of Vice President Biden's Middle Class Task Force, is making great strides in combating this pervasive issue and to restoring these rights to those denied them. In this workshop, you'll learn how DOL is collaborating with other State and Federal enforcement agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, to work together and share information to reduce the incidence of misclassification of employees.
Employment and Labor Law Update (Rick Liebman, Barran Liebman) - An overview of major developments in case law. This class is the only plenary session; the rest are all breakout sessions.
Employment Relations Board (Jason Weyand, Board Member, Adam Rhynard, Board Member and Kathryn Logan, Board Chair) - For anyone in the public sector, or anyone with bargaining units in the public sector, this class will be extremely valuable. Learn from the ERB what to use ERB for and how. Learn from Board Members what are the most common mistakes made by Unions.
Family Medical Leave Act/Oregon Family Leave Act (Tom Doyle, Bennett Hartman) - The Family Medical Leave Act and The Oregon Family Leave Act both provide important rights to Union members. These laws are also important to know in helping the unorganized. Learn the basics about these laws as well as recent changes enacted by Congress and the Oregon Legislature.
From Grievance to Arbitration (Alan Herzfeld, Herzfeld & Piotrowski) - How does a Union investigate and assess a grievance to determine whether to pursue it, and how does the Union prepare a meritorious grievance for arbitration? Alan will cover the nuts and bolts of grievance handling, from investigation and preperation of the grievance to how to select an arbitrator and prepare witnesses and documents for arbitration, identifying some of the most common pitfalls to avoid to safeguard the Union from DFR liability.
Impact of the ACA on Unions (Bob Bussell, Director, Labor Education Research Center) - The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers new opportunities to expand and improve health care coverage. However, the law also poses significant challenges for unions. Multi-employer health funds may be undercut by the competitive advantages the law offers non-union employers. Some employers appear ready to reduce hours in order evade their responsibilities under the ACA. And collective bargaining will be likely be affected by new taxes imposed on more generous health care plans. This workshop will review opportunities presented by the insurance exchanges and approaches unions are employing to ensure the maintenance of affordable quality health care for their members and their families.
National Labor Relations Board (Ronald Hooks, Regional Director, Region 19, NLRB & Linda Davidson, Officer in Charge, Portland Office) - This class is driven primarily by questions. It is an opportunity to meet the Regional Director and learn how to be successful before the NLRB.
Offensive Bargaining (David Rosenfeld, Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld) - Many employers give Unions short shrift in response to information requests. Others simply march toward impasse. Too often unions do not ask for documents that will assist them in their negotiations. Learn from the person who wrote the book on how to avoid impasse, trap employers into unfair labor practices, prevent employers from withrawing recognition and otherwise make life miserable for employers at the bargaining table to achieve a fair contract.
Right to Work (Gordon Lafer, Labor Education Research Center) - There is going to be a ballot measure seeking to make Oregon a "Right to work" state for the public sector. It is essential that we not only understand what the advocates for it are claiming (i.e. it will improve job creation and it protects worker freedom). This presentation will explain who is behind this. Gordon Lafer will provide us with examples of the message that we need to communicate to our members to stop this.
Secondary Boycott (Rich McCracken, Davis, Cowell & Bowe) - Secondary boycotts are legal and often highly effective. Picketing is out but the wide world of modern communications is in. In this class, learn how to conduct these campaigns safely and free yourself from the many restrictions and risks of picketing.
Section 7 Rights (David Rosenfeld, Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld) - How to use the National Labor Relations Act to protect workers who raise issues about their workplace. This is a very broad and effective right in organizing and contract enforcement. There are surprising uses of Section 7 rights. Section 7 prohibits many employer rules which restrict employee rights to speak and act about issues in the workplace. This class will highlight some surprising uses of Section 7 rights.
Don't Let The Law Tweet You Poorly: Social Media Rules of the Road (Katy Dunn, Attorney, SEIU Local 32BJ) – Are you ready to engage your members and the public using social media? Are you already texting? Do you want to do more? Katy will shed light on relevant social media legal requirements and illuminate common pitfalls that can occur when using social media. She will also address sticky issues like what rights do members have to speak their minds on your Facebook page, how to handle "trolls" Also, what options do you have if someone posts threats on your Tumblr page and what options you have if a candidate for union election uses your twitter feed to campaign.
Social Security (Cheryl Coon, Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton) – Who is eligible for social security disability? How do you prove your case? How long does it take? What are the most common mistakes that applicants make? Cheryl will talk about these issues and more, including the relationship between union pension disbility provisions and Social Security Disability.
Workers Comp (Nelson Hall, Bennett Hartman Morris & Kaplan & Martin Alvey, Alvey Law Group) - Unfortunately, a lot of Union members continue to be hurt on the job on a regular basis. The amount of misinformation is huge. The more you know, the more you can help your members avoid making needless, costly mistakes.