HRCI + Cascade Employers Association Logos

Getting or keeping up with your HR certifications can be a challenge, but did you know that Cascade has partnered with the HR Certification Institute™ (HRCI) to offer our Members some pretty cool benefits such as:

  • Members of Cascade can earn up to 12 recertification credits per renewal cycle. This is three credits per year (nine total) under the Professional Achievement Category, and an additional three Business credits (one per year for SPHR®) under the Professional Development: Self Directed category.

    You get this just for being Members of Cascade. It doesn’t even require attending anything. Even better … this is available for as many people in the organization that want it for their recertification and is not 12 credits per Member.

  • For those ready to take the aPHR®, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR® or GPHR® exam, you get $50 off of the exam fee.

Of course, most of the training sessions we offer are approved for HRCI credits which can also be applied to your recertification credits.

Cascade is committed to supporting your career development and ongoing education and we hope you take advantage of these great benefits of your membership with Cascade.



Spring Has Sprung!

The 2017 Oregon Legislative Session officially ended on July 10. So what new laws do employers have to look forward to in the coming months?

While several new bills have passed and signed into law, there are four major new laws of which employers should be aware. Click on each of the links below to read a full description of the law:

  1. The Oregon Equal Pay Act
  2. The Fair Workweek Act (or Predictive Scheduling Law)
  3. Amendments to the Oregon Sick Leave Law
  4. Amendments to daily overtime and maximum hours worked rules in certain industries

While a few other bills also passed, these are the main ones to be aware of. In the coming months, we will look to any rulemaking BOLI engages in to provide clarification on these laws. We will keep you updated on any of those developments, and we will probably be conducting classes on some of these laws once we know more.

So stay tuned, and give us a call if you have any questions in the meantime.



drug free

It’s summer time which means people are out having fun. And not all of it is safe and responsible. Did you know that an average of 9.5 percent of all workers from ages 18 to 64 were dependent upon or abused illicit drugs or alcohol in the past year?

You might think that number is really high, or possibly much lower than expected, but the truth of the matter is, at some point you are going to come face to face with the decision “To test, or not to test.” Do you know what to do? How to manage your risk as it relates to drugs and alcohol in the workplace?

As an employer you have an obligation to maintain a safe workplace. When employees report to work under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, it puts everyone at risk.

When it comes to testing for alcohol and drugs, there are some things to remember:

  1. Make sure your drug and alcohol policy is up to date and easy to find in your employee handbook. Employees should have a clear understanding of the company’s expectations when it comes to drugs (illegal or prescribed), alcohol or other unauthorized substances.
    1. Include prescription drug use in your drug and alcohol policy. Specifically include details on notifying HR or a Supervisor about any medication that could affect their performance. In addition, there should also be a section that mentions prescription drugs being used outside of their specifications.
    2. For Oregon (and several other states), including language specifically addressing marijuana is important. Employees need to understand that even though the state has legalized medicinal and recreational use, it’s still illegal under federal law and they could lose their job for any use.
    3. Include language that sets forth clear testing policies. This should notify employees when testing is required, how testing is conducted, as well as the confidentiality of drug test results. Remember, because alcohol is legal and alcoholism is considered a disability under the ADA, testing for alcohol is a bit more limited than testing for illicit drugs. Employees should only be tested for alcohol if you believe they are currently under the influence of alcohol.
    4. Include language that encourages employees to come forward to seek help before it affects their performance or something more catastrophic.
  2. Train your management and supervisory staff how to recognize the signs and symptoms of impairment and what to do about it. This is all covered in Reasonable Suspicion training.
  3. Summer is a great time to refresh your employees’ minds about your drug-free workplace policies and the importance of their safety.
  4. Make sure you are applying your policy and practice consistently, to avoid discrimination claims.

Maintaining a drug free workplace takes much more than just having a good policy and knowing when to test. Providing drug and alcohol prevention training for your employees to teach them of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse can also have a positive effect in the workplace. In addition, having an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) in place to help those who may request counseling or a referral for treatment, can be essential in those times of need.

If you don’t have a policy, or need help ensuring your policy is up to date, or just have questions about drug and alcohol testing, Cascade is just a phone call away.



2017 Labor Law Posters

The Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has released its 2017-2018 Minimum Wage Poster that all employers must have updated as of July 1, 2017.

As of that date, Oregon’s minimum wage rates have increased as follows:

  • Standard (or Base) rate: increases from $9.75 per hour to $10.25 per hour
  • Portland UGB rate: increases from $9.75 per hour to $11.25 per hour
  • Nonurban Counties rate: increases from $9.50 per hour to $10.00 per hour

You can read more about the details in this Wednesday’s NewsBrief.

If you have already purchased an employment law poster from Cascade, you should have received stickers with the new minimum wage rates to replace the current rates before July 1, 2017. If you have not yet purchased your all-in-one employment law poster, you may do so here.

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