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SEPTEMBER 2017

 

In This Issue:

Governor Signs Manufacturing Overtime Fix and New Maximum Work Hours into Law

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
rorr@cascadeemployers.com

On August 8, 2017, Governor Brown signed HB 3458 into law.

This new law is doing two things:

  • First, it clarifies the existing statute on daily overtime for manufacturing, mills, and factories so that employers need to pay only the greater of daily or weekly overtime – not both as BOLI has been requiring of employers since January 2017.

    The signing date of the law is important because this fix to the daily overtime portion of the statute takes effect immediately upon signing.

  • Second, the law establishes new maximum weekly work hours in certain industries. These new maximum hour requirements will take effect on January 1, 2018.

For a more detailed discussion, please see our prior article on HB 3458.

And for questions, give us a call.

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Trump Administration Blocks Pay Data Reporting on EEO-1 Form

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
rorr@cascadeemployers.com

At the end of August, the Trump Administration blocked an Obama Administration change to the EEO-1 report that would have required employers to report their workforces’ pay data, in addition to the already-required reporting on race and gender.

However, the Trump Administration did not block the rule in its entirety. The Obama rule change also moved the period from which the workforce data was taken from a pay period in July through September to a pay period in October through December. Additionally, the rule pushed back the due date from September 30 of the reporting year to March 31 of the following year. The Trump Administration left these two rule changes in place.

Therefore, employers who are required to file an EEO-1 will still not have a report to file in 2017. Instead, covered employers must file their 2017 EEO-1 by March 31, 2018, and the workforce data must be based on a pay period that falls sometime in October to December 2017.

As a reminder, all employers with 100 or more employees must file an EEO-1. Additionally, any covered federal contractor with 50 or more employees must also file an EEO-1.

For more information about the EEO-1 report or your obligations as a federal contractor, give us a call.

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Five Things You May Not Know About Top Hat Mushrooms –
Featured Member

By Gayle Klampe, President
Cascade Employers Association
gklampe@cascadeemployers.com

Top Hat Mushrooms LogoAs one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide, shiitakes are prized for their rich, savory taste and diverse health benefits. This family-owned employer has been growing these specialty mushrooms for over 26 years. Did you know...

  1. Top Hat Mushrooms, Inc. was founded by current owner and CEO, Robin Gillette in 1991. Prior to that, John Gillette Sr., Robin’s father, owned the 200+ acre farm located outside of the small town of Scio, Oregon, situated on the western foothills of the Cascade Mountains. From the early 1970’s until 1991 the farm was used to raise hogs. Due to the diminishing hog market conditions in the US, Robin’s father struggled to make ends-meet on the farm and Robin wanted to help and try his hand doing something different with the land and buildings. So, he sold his previous business, an electrical company, to his brother-in-law and purchased the farm from his father. Robin did not have mushroom growing experience, but he had a vision to transform the farm from supplying meat to growing healthy fungi. Through some guidance and mentorship from Dr. Royse at Penn State University, he converted the initial buildings into growing rooms prime for the development of fungi and began learning how to grow shiitake mushrooms.

  2. As the largest organic shiitake grower west of the Mississippi, Top Hat’s growing facilities are continually expanding and now include computer controlled environments to take advantage of the natural outdoor conditions. They are relentless in their drive to improve efficiency while never wavering on their commitment to produce top quality mushrooms 365 days a year for wholesale distribution. Robin’s vision to grow and supply the best mushroom value (fresh, tasty, organic, audited food safety program) to fresh market customers, is steadfast. Through on-going testing, they are constantly striving to learn and then apply that knowledge. They utilize a teamwork model that has developed the business into its current enterprise which provides healthy sustenance to people while improving our planet and ecosystem.

  3. This company is committed to sustainable agriculture by using natural resources wisely. They’ve installed an 88-panel solar grid at their Scio farm and use spent mushroom blocks to produce worms, worm castings and plant-based compost, all of which are used to naturally enrich the Earth. Over time there have been numerous updates on the 200 plus acre farm through internal research, development, and sheer determination and ingenuity. During those early years, the original buildings were constructed from lumber that was logged from the farm itself. To date, there are now three generations living and working on the farm in Scio. Top Hat Mushrooms has expanded to a second farm in Salem, OR that is strategically located nearby the Interstate 5 freeway for quick and convenient distribution of their shiitake product. This allows the company to quickly deliver fresh mushrooms along the West Coast while also sending their product via air freight through Portland International Airport three days a week.

  4. In addition to living and working on the farm the Gillette’s also have fun on the farm. The farm has its own 2900’ grass-strip runway and private airfield registered as Gillette Field. Robin and his son Casey can sometimes be seen flying over the farm in their Cessna airplane. The local community hosts an annual fly-in and dine-in where hundreds of small aircraft utilize the airfield to have a big celebration and eat some of the best chicken around. During hot summer days friends and family often head to the farm because it contains one of the best watering holes for cooling off and swimming in the pristine Thomas Creek.

  5. Developing Top Hat Mushrooms to its current enterprise has been a family affair. Robin’s wife, Carrie, manages the company’s finances and spends a day each week with the packaging team, ensuring quality control of mushrooms prior to distribution. Their son, Casey, has been a huge contributor to the success of the farm since he graduated from college and started working full-time on the farm. Casey is now the Chief Operating Officer and spends much of his time overseeing production, constantly refining their spawn line that is developed in-house. Their daughter, Katie, also works on the farm doing bookkeeping and office administration. She always amazes her co-workers with her ability to juggle raising two beautiful girls and keeping the company straight!

Cascade is pleased to showcase Top Hat Mushrooms, an employer determined to help each other advance through team work.

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Hot Compliance Question

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
rorr@cascadeemployers.com

Question: What is the legal definition of a full-time employee?

Answer: Generally speaking, there is no "legal" definition of full-time. Employers may define this classification as they please.

Full and part-time classifications can be used to determine things like benefit eligibility. However, laws like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Oregon Sick Leave (OSL) may require you to offer benefits, regardless of how you define your employee classifications. For instance, the ACA requires applicable large employers (employers with 50 or more FTEs) to offer health insurance to their full-time employees, but full-time employee is defined as working 30 or more hours per week. OSL requires employers to provide sick leave to virtually all employees, regardless of whether they are full-time, part-time or temporary.

Your Employee Handbook should still have definitions for all your employee classifications. Just be aware that your benefits policies may not be able to tie eligibility to those definitions because of the different laws in play.

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Tips for HR Ninjas: Is Your Sick Leave Policy Compliant?

By Bethany Wright, HR Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
bwright@cascadeemployers.com

Now that all employees in the state of Oregon (with a few exceptions) are eligible for protected sick leave (paid or unpaid), have you confirmed that your sick leave policy is in full compliance with the law?

The Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has stated that even if you already have a policy that is more generous, it must be “substantially equivalent” (i.e. “exactly equivalent”) to the sick leave law. 1

What does that mean? That means that even if you are giving your employees more time than the law requires, it must still meet all of the criteria of the new law. With all of the different rules and regulations, it can be confusing to try and navigate the law yourself.

Here are some of the most commonly overlooked portions of the law we have seen since it went into place:

  • All employees must accrue a minimum of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked (or 0.0333 hours per hour worked), unless their sick leave hours are frontloaded at the start of the sick leave year. Exempt employees are presumed to work 40 hours per week unless they actually work less. While you can still set a cap for accruals in the year (such as stopping accruals at 40 hours), you generally cannot award a flat rate per paycheck if they are hourly non-exempt employee, regardless of the number of hours they are being given.
  • Generally, employees must be allowed to use their time in one-hour increments. However, employers may require use in four-hour increments if they provide at least 56 hours of time and can show that use in one-hour increments would be an undue hardship.
  • When frontloading hours at the beginning of the leave year, you must frontload the full 40 hours, regardless of employment status. Even if someone is a part-time employee and will only work 20 hours a week, you cannot pro-rate when you frontload at the start of a leave year. The only time you can pro-rate frontloaded hours is when someone is hired after the first of the leave year.

In addition to these most commonly missed rules, there are numerous other areas to verify when it comes to the Oregon Sick Leave law. Please check out our FAQ page for additional common pitfalls and solutions. If you are unsure if your policy is compliant with the current rules, now is a great time to double check what you have written.

If you get stuck, give us a call! We can help.


1 http://www.oregon.gov/boli/TA/Pages/T_FAQ_OregonSickTime.aspx.

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Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Consumer Price Indexes listed were issued August 11, 2017 for July data. 1982-84 = 100, unless otherwise noted.

  CPI-W
United
States
2016

234.771
2017

238.617
Change

1.6%
Portland/
Salem

Avg. 1st 
half/year
2016

237.784
2017

247.871


4.2%
  CPI-U
United
States
2016

240.628
2017

244.786
Change

1.7%
Portland/
Salem

Avg. 1st
half/year
2016

247.143
2017

258.055


4.4%

Note: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of certain retail goods and services. CPI-W consists of urban households whose primary source of income is derived from the employment of wage earners and clerical workers. CPI-U includes wage earners and clerical workers, salaried workers, the self-employed, retirees, and the unemployed.

US Department of Labor Historical CPI Data

 


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