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MAY 2018

 

In This Issue:

Washington Follows Suit with Oregon – Substantially Revises Equal Pay Act

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Last month, Washington’s governor signed into law a bill providing expansive equal pay protections. While the new law is similar to Oregon’s Equal Pay Act, it has some notable differences.

Here’s a summary of the main provisions of the law:

  • Like Oregon, Washington already required equal pay for workers who are “similarly employed.” Also like Oregon, the new law expands on the definition of “similarly employed,” defining it as work that “requires comparable skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.”

  • Also similar to Oregon, Washington amended the ways employers can justify pay disparities amongst employees who are similarly employed. However, the Washington law has different factors than Oregon. Oregon has an exclusive list of factors (seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, workplace location, travel, education, training, and/or experience). Washington allows employers to justify pay differences based on seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, bona fide regional differences in compensation, or any other bona fide job-related factor.

    The last provision provides Washington employers with more flexibility than Oregon employers. Arguably under that provision, things like market conditions at the time of hire could help justify pay disparities. Washington’s law expressly states that an individual’s prior salary cannot be used to justify a pay disparity.

  • Like Oregon, Washington changed the equal pay requirement from wages to total compensation.

  • Unlike Oregon, Washington did not expand on the list of protected classes the law applies to (Oregon applies to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, and age). However, it did change “sex” to “gender” and remove references to “male” and “female.”

  • Washington’s law has specific provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of career advancement opportunities.

  • Like Oregon, Washington employers (with limited exception) cannot require employees to keep their or another employee’s compensation confidential and can no longer ask about an applicant’s prior compensation. Washington employers are also barred from retaliating against employees for asking their employers to justify perceived pay disparities.

The new law takes effect on June 7, 2018, giving employers little time to prepare. For assistance analyzing your organization’s compensation practices in light of Oregon’s or Washington’s new pay equity laws, give us a call today.

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Five Things You May Not Know About Van’s Aircraft –
Featured Member

By Gayle Klampe, President
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

The initials "RV" usually mean Recreational Vehicle, and while that may be an apt description of the RV line of kit aircraft, in this case they are also the initials of designer and founder of Van's Aircraft, Richard VanGrunsven. Did you know....

  1. Image of Two Planes in FlightUsually known as Dick or "Van,” Richard VanGrunsven learned to fly in 1956 at the age of 16. After earning an engineering degree and while serving in the Air Force for a three-year tour, Van purchased a 65 horsepower Stits Playboy airplane. He eventually redesigned and rebuilt the plane for better performance, renaming it the RV-1. And by 1972, Van’s Aircraft was founded in Reedville, Oregon, selling plans and build-your-own kits for the newly designed RV-3.
  2. Eventually the company grew and moved to North Plains, Oregon. But it soon exhausted available opportunities there too. So in 2000, Van’s Aircraft moved to a new 60,000 square foot facility near the small town of Aurora, Oregon and remains based there today at the Aurora State Airport (KUAO). Now employee-owned, the company employs over 60 people (and dozens more in sub-contract roles), keeping them busy manufacturing several hundred complete aircraft kits a year.
  3. According to the company, virtually no skill is required to build an RV, as everything a builder needs to know can be learned “on the job,” by carefully studying the builder’s manual or by seeking advice from other RV builders. A more important requirement than skill is the right frame of mind. Building an airplane requires dedication, commitment, a willingness to learn and the ability to make and correct occasional mistakes.
  4. On average, it takes about 1200-1400 hours to complete a Standard Kit, typically over an 18-24 month period. Of course some kits never get finished, and that’s where dedication and commitment come into play. Van’s also sells a QuickBuild Kit that cuts the build-time by about 35%. In addition to purchasing the airframe kit, the builder must supply the engine, prop, instruments, avionics, upholstery and paint. Much of this is available through Van’s. For builders wanting to keep costs to a minimum, it’s possible to build a simple RV for around $45,000, but that’s doing some careful shopping, accepting a used engine, and painting it yourself.
  5. Van’s RVs are now flying in at least 45 different countries and kits have shipped to about 60. From a small farm in Oregon, these wonderful airplanes have achieved a global following. Not because of any superior marketing campaign, but simply because they fly so well and bring so much pleasure to their builders.

Cascade is proud to feature this member, a company that meets challenges with honesty, practicality, diligence and imagination.

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Hot Compliance Question

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Question: Our organization is a charitable nonprofit, and we have employees at our organization who want to volunteer to participate in two upcoming events. One is a luncheon for our organization. We need to have a few employees there to set up, welcome guests, and clean up. The second is a social event outside of normal work hours. Employees were invited by one of our donors directly, and are not required to go. They won’t be performing any duties there, other than being the face of the organization. Do we have to pay the employees for either of these events?

Answer:  You should pay your employees for the first event. You are likely not required to pay them for attending the second event.

For volunteer time to be unpaid, (1) the work must be at the employee’s initiative; (2) the work must be outside normal or regular work hours; (3) the employee must be performing a religious, charitable or other community service without contemplation of payment; and (4) the employee must be performing a task outside of the regular job functions performed for the same employer.

With the first event, you would need to pay for the event because it occurs during normal work hours, and depending on who volunteers, the work at the event may be a regular job function of the employee. It also sounds like you’d need to require employees to attend if nobody volunteers. With the second event, however, all the requirements for the time being unpaid have been met. The employees were invited by the donor and want to attend on their own initiative. The work is outside of normal work hours. Being the face of the organization at a client event would qualify as a charitable service. Finally, attending donor social events is typically not a regular job function of an employee.

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HR Stats You Should Know

By Jenna Reed, JD, General Counsel and Director, Compliance Services
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Did you know that according to a recent study by Deloitte Consulting LLP's Bersin, organizations that use people analytics in a robust and meaningful way can yield 82 percent higher three-year average profit compared to other organizations?

While the term people analytics might sound scary, it’s time to overcome that fear and see how people analytics can become a powerful driver in your organization. In fact, many CEOs and business owners now expect their HR professionals to have skills in statistics and data analytics. From the quality of hires you make, to managing performance, people analytics is one of the top HR priorities right now.

Ok – if it still sounds scary to you, we’ve got your back. Cascade has a partnership with The Predictive Index which is one of the top people analytics organizations so we can help you realize what drives workplace behaviors and how to harness your team’s true power.

If you want to learn more about people analytics and The Predictive Index, just give us a call.

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OFCCP Issues Revised Veteran Hiring Benchmark

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Just a quick update that OFCCP recently revised its veteran hiring benchmark for federal contractors.

Effective March 31, 2018, the new benchmark is 6.4%, down from 6.7%. Make sure to adjust your benchmark in your affirmative action plans. If Cascade does your plans for you, we will automatically adjust the hiring benchmark to 6.4% for any plans dated March 31, 2018 and after.

If you have any questions about your federal contracting obligations, affirmative action plans, or affirmative action audits, give us a call.

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Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit Notice

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Did you know that Oregon employers are required to provide their employees with written information about the federal and state earned income tax credits (EITC) with the employee’s annual W-2? The information can be provided via some form of paper or electronic delivery.

BOLI has provided employers with the following template language that can be used to meet this requirement:

Employees may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC), a benefit for working people with low to moderate income, particularly those with children. EITC reduces the amount of tax owed and may provide a refund.

Visit these websites for additional information about how to qualify:

Federal: www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit
Oregon: www.oregon.gov/DOR/programs/individuals/Pages/credits.aspx

If you have any questions about your organization’s compliance obligations, let us know!

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