NewsBrief: June 2020

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JUNE 2020


In This Issue:

Supporting Our Black Co-Workers and Communities

By Gayle Gilham, President
Cascade Employers Association

Not only have the most recent events been heartbreaking and appalling, they’ve magnified the ongoing manifestation of a different kind of virus that lingers throughout the world and in our workplaces: racism. Many of our members are asking, “How can we respond in solidarity with our black co-workers to show them support during this intense time?”

Cascade acknowledges the existence and impact of individual and systemic racism and we are committed to standing in solidarity with the black community to address it. With the unfolding events of the past week, very few organizations are prepared to address the severe emotional and psychological pain once again thrust on our black co-workers. Cascade is no exception when it comes to preparedness. We are, however, extremely fortunate to have on our team a highly respected diversity, equity and inclusion change-maker, Alexis James. Alexis came to us a year ago as our Director of Training and Organization Development to provide leadership in our training services as well as support both Cascade and our member employers in their equity journeys.

I asked Alexis for some suggestions that I as a leader, and other leaders, can do right now to show support of the black community. Her responses were so practical, yet those of us new to our equity journeys would likely be struggling with if she hadn’t brought them to light:

  • Say Something – Make a statement of solidarity in support of the black community. Make it meaningful and be direct. Don’t share something that lacks emotion or action. Showcase the white allies that exist in your organization and ask them to show up.
  • Give Them Room – Give your black employees time and space to experience their feelings. No one is at their best when they can’t process their emotions. Remind them of available time off and encourage them to use it.
  • Reach Out to Your EAP – If you have an Employee Assistance Program, reach out to them, now! They will not only provide counseling for your employees who may be experiencing emotional upset and trauma, but will also give guidance to supervisors who find themselves teetering between supervisor and counselor.
  • Connect with Cascade – As a black facilitator, Alexis James will help you facilitate a Black Affinity Space at your workplace. Don’t expect your employees to hold this space as part of their “job.”
  • Walk Your Talk – Invest in an equity audit, anonymous surveys, and focus groups that will provide data on what needs to be changed and what data needs to be collected and monitored. This is a time to invest in inclusion and walk your talk.
  • Train Your People – Develop your team’s willingness to learn from a different point of view so they can better understand, communicate and interact with people across cultures.
  • EXPAND Your Circle – Check on your black friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. Maybe those colleagues and neighbors can turn into friends. EXPAND your circle!!

Wherever you are in your equity journey, we all have the responsibility as organization leaders, HR professionals and diversity, equity, and inclusion advocates to work together to create an inclusive environment where people feel safe to speak up and share their concerns.


COVID-19 Resources

Keyboard with Coronavirus ButtonAs we enter into month five of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Cascade’s commitment to supporting employers as new information arises remains steadfast. As a reminder, our COVID-19 Resource Center has numerous new alerts, FAQs, web resources, sample policies and documents, factsheets, webinars and much more.

Our website is constantly being updated, so please be sure to check it out often and share with your network.

Our May Alerts include:

SBA Releases PPP Loan Forgiveness Instructions

Governor Brown Announces Counties Approved for Phase One

EEO Data Collections Delayed Due to COVID-19

Oregon Announces Phase-One Reopening Beginning May 15th


Oregon Minimum Wage Increasing July 1, 2020

By Lindsay Hill, CCP, GRP, Director, Compensation Services
Cascade Employers Association

Oregon’s minimum wage will be increasing again July 1, 2020, as part of the 2016 Oregon Legislature, Senate Bill 1532.

The actual amount of the increase and overall minimum hourly wage varies by county. According to the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), the increases are broken into "Standard" counties, the "Portland Metro" area, and "Nonurban Counties” with varying minimum wage levels. Portland Metro and Standard Counties will receive a 75 cent per hour increase and Nonurban Counties will increase by 50 cents.

Oregon Wage Increase Illustration

Portland Metro
Nonurban Counties
July 1, 2018
July 1, 2019
July 1, 2020
July 1, 2021
July 1, 2022
July 1, 2023
Adjusted annually based on the increase, if any, to the US City average Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers
$1.25 over the standard minimum wage
$1 less than the standard minimum wage

Minimum wage adjustments are not intended to impact your entire organization but are intended to bring the lower wages up. However, it is important that you minimize pay compression with proper planning. Evaluate how the minimum wage adjustments will impact your entry level employees and new hires all the way through 2022. Evaluate pay compression issues and identify what you need to do annually to accommodate the changes. Communicate with your employees about the changes ahead of time and how it will impact them.

If you need any assistance with this work, Cascade Employers Association can help!


2020 Regional Pay Survey – Results Now Available

By McKenna Arnold, Survey and Research Manager
Cascade Employers Association

With 701 organizations participating, representing 56,224 employees across Oregon and Washington, the 2020 Regional Pay Survey is a vital tool for managers, HR professionals, and business owners. Reflecting pay data for 562 positions, the survey report provides exclusive wage and salary data for a variety of executive, exempt, and non-exempt positions.

2020 Changes

The 2020 Regional Pay Survey now has the addition of a nonprofit specific report. With 196 nonprofit organizations participating, this is a useful tool for nonprofits wanting to compare their salary and compensation data. This year will also see a nonprofit specific report of the 2020 Regional Benefits Survey, with discounts for participants in both surveys.

The 2020 version also saw an addition of 18 new positions added to the survey. If there is a position missing from our data collection that you would like added, please send in your suggestion for consideration in our next edition. This survey also saw the restructuring of certain positions, creating a new job family, Social Services and Related Services.

Survey Highlights

With an effective date of March 1, 2020, the survey reports an average percentage increase in average pay of 3.22% from 2019 to 2020. This average is closely aligned with the projected increase percentage in pay forecasted by 117 executives in the 2019/2020 Salary Budget Survey.

Several positions show large changes in average pay this year, including Sales/Marketing Assistant, which saw a 28.1% increase in average pay. Others with a large increase include Trade Show Coordinator (19.1%) and Chief Sales Executive/Domestic Markets (Excluding Marketing, 18.4%).

A subset of positions saw less than 1% growth in average pay, including Field Service Manager (0.6%), Warehouse Supervisor (0.4%), and Grinding Machine Operator (0.1%).

Visit SalaryTrends® to learn more about the 2020 Regional Pay Survey, or to purchase the full report.


Survey Results: Return to Work Preparations

By McKenna Arnold, Survey and Research Manager
Cascade Employers Association

Cascade recently conducted the COVID-19 Business Realities: Return to Work Preparations Survey to collect and analyze data on the business impacts of the pandemic and how businesses are preparing to comply with Governor Brown’s reopening requirements and guidelines.

Please click here to view the final results of the survey, which closed May 20.

Reflecting responses from 67 organizations in the for-profit, non-profit and public sectors, the results provide information about workplace readiness, personal protection equipment, and more. Results of the survey show:

  • 79% of respondents are somewhat to very well prepared to resume normal operations
  • 30% of respondents anticipate that more than half of their employees will continue to work remotely that previously did not
  • 43% of respondents will be providing and requiring employees to wear face masks when returning to work

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Our team is prepared to answer your questions.


Hot Compliance Question

By Caitlin Egeck, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association

Please continue to check out Cascade’s COVID-19 resource website for new FAQs related to COVID-19 and return-to-work. Below is one new FAQ and there are many more to come.

Question: May employers administer a COVID-19 test before permitting employees to enter the workplace?

Answer: Yes. In the face of the pandemic, employers may take steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19.

This is because an individual with coronavirus will pose a direct threat to the health of others. Therefore, an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus. Employers should ensure that the tests are accurate and reliable. It is also important that the COVID-19 tests are administered in a non-discriminatory manner and the tests should not replace other safety and social distancing measures.


You Also Might Be Interested In Recent Great Work! Posts

By Cascade Staff
Cascade Employers Association

Workplace communication is not a new issue, of course, but super-super-important in a Post-Pandemic world. This Great Work! Blog provides helpful insight.

The last couple of months have brought enormous disruption to our workplaces. How is your work group coping?


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