Archive for restaurant

Drug Testing

Posted in Drug Testing with tags , , , , , , , on October 24, 2008 by pdxrwa

An employer is legally allowed to require a drug test from individuals seeking first-employment.  However, the employer must not discriminate and must test all prospective employees.

Federal and Oregon law do not specifically address drug testing employees.  While drug testing is legal, an employer must follow a procedure that guarantees an employee’s constitutional privacy rights.  The following protocol is generally accepted as legal:

  • The employer possesses a clear written policy regarding drug testing and it has been explained to all employees.
  • The method of selection for drug testing is clearly explained, whether it is done randomly, as result of an employer’s reasonable suspicion (based on facts, not rumors), or because of a workplace accident or incident.
  • The employer must apply a drug testing policy consistently, without discrimination.
  • A 30-day advanced notice before drug testing is recommend to preserve an individual’s expectation of privacy, unless the employer’s written policy states differently.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Oregon disability laws do not protect an employee from discipline or termination if a drug test is positive, but they do protect recovering (non-practicing) alcoholics and drug addicts.

Source:

http://www.workplacefairness.org/drugtesting#2

http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/TA/T_FAQ_Drugtesting.shtml

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) & Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)

Posted in Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) & (OMLA) with tags , , , , on October 23, 2008 by pdxrwa

An employer who has 50 or more workers who live within 75 miles of the work site is subject to the FMLA. An employer who has 25 or more employees is also subject to the OFLA. Restaurant workers are often ineligible due to the nature of restaurant work and the limited staff of smaller local establishments.

To be an eligible worker under the FMLA, one must have worked for the employer for at least one year or over 1250 hours or about 25 hours a week for fifty-two weeks. To be an eligible worker under the OFLA, one must only have worked at least 180 calendar days at an average of 25 hours a week.

FMLA and OFLA both entitle an employee to up to a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period because of a serious health condition, adoption, birth and family illness.

A worker may elect, or the employer may require, the worker to substitute accrued paid vacation, personal leave, or sick leave during this period of time. When the worker returns to work, the employer must return the worker to his former position or an equivalent position, with equivalent worker benefits.

If an injured worker takes leave and cannot return to work after the twelve weeks, generally the employer does not then have an obligation to rehire the worker at a later date. In other words, the employer is not required to hold the job open indefinitely.

BOLI publishes and makes available on its website an “FMLA Employee Informational Packet” which answers frequently asked questions about FMLA eligibility and filing process. BOLI also provides on its website leave requests forms that will assist you in the process of applying for FMLA.  These resources are linked below:

The information contained in this section was collected from the U.S. Department of Labor’s and BOLI’s websites:
http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm
http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/TA/T_FAQ_Taoflaqa.shtml

Healthcare Resources

Posted in Healthcare Resource with tags , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by pdxrwa

The Coalition of Community Health Clinics

The Coalition of Community Health Clinics is a network of 13 private, non-profit health clinics located throughout Multnomah County. These clinics provide health services to the uninsured and under-served men, women and children in the Portland Metropolitan area.

http://www.coalitionclinics.org/clinics-location.html
http://www.coalitionclinics.org/find-healthcare.html

The Coalition’s website also gives links to other low-cost healthcare providers in the Portland metropolitan area. Go to and click on the links to find out more information about what services these clinics offer: http://www.coalitionclinics.org/other-clinics.html.

Outside-in

The Medical Clinic is a coalition of medical and naturopathic doctors and interns, acupuncturists, and Chinese herbalists all of whom provide cutting edge multi-disciplinary primary care to homeless youth and low-income individuals lacking health insurance.

1132 SW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97205-1703
http://www.outsidein.org/

Call: 503-535-3890 between 10am and 12pm or between 3pm and 5pm Monday through Friday.

Seven Star Acupuncture

Seven Star offers discounted specials on Thursdays for all restaurant workers.

436 SE 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
503-236-6833
http://sevenstarpdx.com/

Monday 9am-8pm, Tuesday – Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday CLOSED

Working Class Acupuncture

Sliding scale is $15-$35 per treatment. You decide what you can afford. There is a $10 paperwork fee for the first session.

3526 NE 57th Ave.
Portland, OR 97213
http://www.workingclassacupuncture.org/
Call: 503-335-9440

Monday thru Friday: 8:30am-8pm, Saturday: 9am-4pm & Sunday: 9am-3pm

YWCA

The YWCA offers counseling services for female identified persons on a sliding scale. Rates start at $19 a session. Most clients attend counseling once a week.

  • Must be age 14 or older.
  • Must be able to pay on a sliding fee scale based on income and family size.

To find out more or schedule an appointment, please call 503-294-7440.

Meal & Rest Periods

Posted in Meal & Rest Periods with tags , , on October 20, 2008 by pdxrwa

Meal Period

A 30 minute unpaid meal period is legally mandated for a work period of six to eight hours. If a worker is not relieved of all responsibilities during a meal period or remains on call, the 30 minute meal period must be paid. OAR 839-020-0050(A)(B)

Rest Period

Employers must provide workers with a paid, uninterrupted 10-minute rest break for every four-hour segment in a work period. OAR 839-020-0050(b)

Minors must be provided a paid, uninterrupted 15-minute rest break for every four-hour segment in a work period. OAR 839-021-0072(3)

Rest breaks should be given in the middle of each four-hour segment, whenever possible.

Meal Period Reform

Posted in Meal & Rest Periods with tags , , , on October 19, 2008 by pdxrwa

Beginning January 1st 2008, employees who earn and report tips to employers can now waive their right to a 30 minute meal break. Waivers are available through employers and must be signed in order to forego the otherwise mandatory break. A 7 calendar day waiting period exists for new hires. Employers proved to have intimidated or pressured new or existing employees into signing a waiver are liable for a fine up to $2,000 with each individual attempt considered a separate offense.

Employees who work over six hours in a shift and waive their right to a 30 minute break must still be provided the opportunity to consume food while continuing to work, as well as be paid for this time. Employees are unable to waive their mandatory 10 minute rest periods for work shifts of 4 hours or more. In the case of a work shift of 8 hours or more a 30 minute break is mandatory and can not be waived.

For more information:

http://www.ora.org/Government/GA/index.htm

http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/WHD/Meal_Waivers.shtml

Final Pay Rights

Posted in Final Pay, Pay & Wages with tags , , , , , on October 18, 2008 by pdxrwa

The Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industry (BOLI) provides the following information regarding final pay for both employers and employees. It can be read in broader detail on the BOLI website: www.oregon.gov/BOLI or by following the links found below to the exact legal language.

These regulations apply to all Oregon employers except those in the federal government.

Final Paychecks

If an employee quits with less than 48 hours notice, excluding weekends and holidays, the paycheck is due within five days, excluding weekends and holidays, or on the next regular payday, whichever comes first. ORS 652.140(2)

Example: An employee quits without notice on Monday, one week before Labor Day. The final check must be paid by the Tuesday after Labor Day, unless a regular payday occurs before that date.

If an employee quits with notice of at least 48 hours, the final check is due on the final day worked, unless the last day falls on a weekend or holiday. In that case, the check is due on the next business day. ORS 652.140(2) &(3)

Example: An employee gives three days notice that Saturday will be the last day worked. The final check is due on Monday. Example: An employee gives two days notice that Friday will be the last day worked. The final check is due on Friday.

If an employee is discharged, the final paycheck is due not later than the end of the next business day. ORS 652.140(1)

Example: If an employee is discharged on Saturday, the check is due on Monday by the end of the day. If an employee is discharged on Monday, the check is due by the end of the day on Tuesday.

When an employer and employee mutually agree to terminate the relationship, the check is due by the end of the following business day, as in the case of discharge. ORS 652.140(1)

If an employer does not pay an employee all of the wages they are due by the deadline listed above, the employer must pay the employee a penalty. The penalty is one full day’s wage for every day the full final payment is late, up to 30 days’ wages (8 hours per day x 30 days x the employee’s wage rate).

Minimum Wage

Posted in Minimum Wage, Pay & Wages with tags , , , , , , on October 16, 2008 by pdxrwa

As of January 1st, 2012, the Oregon minimum wage is $8.80 per hour.  State law requires the minimum wage to be adjusted annually based on inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Oregon law requires employers to pay at least the minimum wage during all stages of employment, including any on-the-job training. Employers in Oregon may not use any amount of an employee’s tips as a credit against the minimum wage.

If an employer fails to pay the full minimum wage for all hours worked in any given workweek (for example, by failing to pay for some of the hours worked, or by deducting amounts from the wages paid), then the employer must pay the employee an Oregon penalty and a Federal penalty. The Federal penalty is equal to the amount of unpaid minimum wages (sometimes referred to as “double for your trouble”). The Oregon penalty is up to 30 days’ wages (8 hours per day x 30 days x the employee’s wage rate).

This information and more is available by visiting these websites: BOLI and ORS 653.025

Overtime

Posted in Overtime, Pay & Wages with tags , on October 15, 2008 by pdxrwa

Work over forty hours a week is entitled to overtime pay of 1.5 times your regular rate of pay. The work week is determined by a seven day period of 168 hours picked by the employer. It could start on any day of the week so ask your boss or manager on what day your work week starts if you are likely to exceed 40 hours in a seven day period.

Overtime pay is restricted to work performed in a week and does apply to a single work period since Oregon law sets no limits on the number of hours worked in one day.

If an employer fails to pay the full amount of overtime for any given workweek (for example, by failing to pay overtime for some of the hours worked, or by deducting amounts from the wages paid), then the employer must pay the employee an Oregon penalty and a Federal penalty. The Federal penalty is equal to the amount of unpaid overtime (sometimes referred to as “double for your trouble”). The Oregon penalty is up to 30 days’ wages (8 hours per day x 30 days x the employee’s wage rate).

Wage & Tip Deductions

Posted in Pay & Wages, Wage & Tip Deductions with tags , , , , , , on October 14, 2008 by pdxrwa

An employer can legally deduct wages for the following, if authorized by law or the employee:

• taxes or garnishments (ex. social security, child support)

• union dues authorized by a collective bargaining agreement

• health insurance premiums

An employer cannot legally deduct wages (or tips) for the following:

• damages to employer property (ex. broken dishes, dropped food)

• register shortages

• accepting bad checks from customers

• walk-out customers

• uniforms, name tags, aprons, or tools required for the job

• laundry or cleaning of uniforms

• breakage or loss of tools, equipment or uniforms

If an employer deducts any amount from an employee’s pay, the employer must return that amount and pay the employee a penalty for each wrongful deduction. The penalty is equal to the amount of the deduction, or $200, whichever is greater.

The information and more is available by visiting these website and pages: BOLI, ORS 652.610(3), OAR 839-020-0020

Credit Card

Where tips are charged on a credit card and the employer must pay the credit card company a percentage on each sale, then the employer may pay the employee the tip, less that percentage (and only that percentage). The amount due the employee must be paid no later than the regular pay day and may not be held while the employer is awaiting reimbursement from the credit card company.

For more information, see the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): U.S. Department of Labor

Sexual Harassment

Posted in Sexual Harassment with tags , , , on October 13, 2008 by pdxrwa

Restaurant work is notorious for sexual harassment though many workers and bosses are unaware of what behaviors violate sexual harassment laws. The majority of restaurants do not have a clear sexual harassment policy posted and more often than not managers do not have disciplinary procedures in place to protect workers from abuse.

The lack of clear sexual harassment polices create an atmosphere of tolerance for behavior that would never be accepted in any other workplace or social situation.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has listed restaurants as the top source of sexual harassment claims. They only investigate abuses that are actually reported which means many violations go unreported. Below are some examples of behaviors/actions that constitute sexual harassment:

Verbal or Written:

Comments about clothing, personal behavior, or a person’s body; sexual or sex-based jokes; requesting sexual favors or repeatedly asking a person out; sexual innuendos; telling rumors about a person’s personal or sexual life; threatening a person

Physical:

Assault; impeding or blocking movement; inappropriate touching of a person or a person’s clothing; kissing, hugging, patting, stroking, pinching, rape

Nonverbal:

Leering, Looking up and down a person’s body; derogatory gestures or facial expressions of a sexual nature; following a person

Visual:

Posters, drawings, pictures, screen savers or emails of a sexual nature

Federal Law:

The Federal law prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace is Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended. The law makes certain employers responsible for preventing and stopping sexual harassment that occurs on the job.

Retaliation is Also Against the Law:

Not only is sex harassment against the law, but so is retaliating (taking revenge) against someone for complaining about sexual harassment or for participating in an investigation of sexual harassment. Examples of retaliation include: you complain about sexual harassment and are made to take an unpaid leave of absence, although the harasser continues to work; after you write a letter describing sexual harassment that you witnessed, you are reassigned to a less desirable position in the same or different department.

Employer Responsibilities to Workers:

Title VII makes employers liable to prevent and stop sexual harassment of workers. Under Title VII, covered employers must:

  1. take reasonable care to prevent sexual harassment
  2. take reasonable care to promptly correct sexual harassment that has occurred

There are no specific actions an employer must take to satisfy the requirement that it take reasonable care to prevent or stop sexual harassment. An employer may satisfy the requirement of reasonable care to prevent sexual harassment by having and distributing to workers a policy prohibiting sexual harassment and informing workers how to make a complaint. However, if an employer has a policy but does not enforce it, or if an employer fails to investigate sexual harassment complaints but investigates other complaints of misconduct, then the employer may not be taking reasonable care.

However, before an employer can be legally responsible for taking reasonable care to correct sexual harassment, the employer must be aware that the harassment has occurred.

For this reason, it is important to notify your employer that sexual harassment has occurred.

It is sometimes hard to report harassment because you might feel embarrassed or think that it was your fault even though it is not. Reporting sexual harassment to your employer is important. It may stop the behavior and it makes your employer responsible for stopping the behavior.

Questions and Answers about sexual harassment: WorkplaceFairness.org

The information contained in this section was collected from the Equal Rights Advocate’s and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s websites: http://www.equalrights.org/publications/kyr/shwork.asp
http://www.eeoc.gov/

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