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Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

FMLA/ADA Leave ExtensionsWe get questions about employees who request extended leave after their FMLA leave expires. The question is whether extended leave is a request for reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Two different U.S. Courts of Appeals decided cases that draw a line between FMLA leave and the ADA requirement for reasonable accommodation. It appears that the ability to take post-FMLA leave under the ADA depends on whether the worker is an “otherwise qualified individual with a disability.” The courts held that employees who cannot perform the essential functions of their job at the time that leave is requested are not “qualified individuals” and not protected by the ADA.

Of course, if your company has a policy of allowing a certain amount of unpaid leave that is longer than the 12 weeks required by the FMLA, then the employee should be allowed that leave unless there are intervening, unique circumstances and provision for such discretion in the policy.

The EEOC isn’t necessarily on board with these new court decisions. According to EEOC policy, the employer should enter the “interactive process” with the employee if there is a request for extended leave beyond the 12 weeks of FMLA leave. It appears that the EEOC considers leave of fixed, relatively short duration as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. During the interactive process, companies should consider two factors: 1) whether the employee is otherwise qualified for the position and 2) whether allowing the additional leave is an undue hardship. These ADA analyses may protect the company from liability in the event of an EEOC investigation or other legal action.

Source: PIA HR Update

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Member Spotlight: Rose City Label

Posted Friday, May 25, 2018 by Sarah Sudar, Copywriter, Printing Industries of America.

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Portland, Oregon based Rose City Label is the oldest label company in the Northwest United States. President Scott Pillsbury wasn’t passionate about the family business at a young age, but as he got older, he knew he would end up in it.

After high school, Pillsbury entered the United States Air Force Academy in 1985 and worked in sales at Merrill Lynch in Seattle before moving back home and joining Rose City Label in 1994 as an account manager focusing on the marketing side of the business.

“I didn’t want to go directly from the Air Force into the business,” says Pillsbury. “I wanted to do something else and bring some experience to the business.”

He never learned how to run a press but worked his way through the business, spending time in prepress, finishing, packaging, and shipping to understand the different departments. He became President in 1998 and his sister, Whitney, who had entered the business six months ahead of him in 1993, joined him as Vice President after the unexpected passing of their father, Mike Pillsbury.

“We had to pick it up, become partners, and move the business forward,” says Pillsbury.Mike Pillsbury purchased Rose City Label in 1974 from Wayne Frie, whose father, George, started the business in 1928. Mike had a background in the printing industry, working as a paper salesman for Zellerbach Paper. He didn’t know how to run a press but he had a passion for business and saw a good opportunity when it came along.

Rose City Label started out letterpress printing for cake box bands and insurance policy seals in the 1920s. The company moved to sheetfed offset printing for glue applied, heat seal, and adhesive back labels, and in the 1960s they were early adopters of flexographic roll label printing. In the 1980s, they became experts in foil and hot stamp printing and now embrace digital printing technology.

The company prints high-quality custom labels for anyone with a product in a bag, box, or bottle. They work with customers to decide the right printing platform, the right material (with over 50 label materials in stock), and other design options. Their current roster of clients includes producers of craft beer, premium wine, gourmet food, and consumer goods.

Rose City Label got into the craft beer industry about 10 years ago, but the movement from bottles into cans has slowed down that business. In the last five years, they upgraded their equipment to allow for the printing of challenging wine labels and have seen growth within that business line. And, being based in Oregon has allowed them to also print for cannabis products, another growing area of business.

Thinking outside the box, Rose City Label has also found nontraditional solutions for labels, such as dielectric mylar insulators for electronics, polyester barriers for cellular research, and die-cut protective labels designed to protect young tree branch buds from browsing deer. Pillsbury says he gets asked all the time if he’s going to diversify his business but he’s quick to say that they have been printing labels for 90 years and once they get it figured out, they’ll move onto something else. With commercial printers outsourcing label printing to them, business is steady. 2017 was the most profitable year in the company’s 90-year history. “Having a physical label on a physical product is hard to replace with a PDF,” adds Pillsbury. “Printing has gone online, but this still has value in the marketplace.”

Keeping technology current is something that not only makes them attractive to customers but also to their family of 19 employees. In fact, two of their employees have been with the company for over 30 years and several employees have been with Rose City Label for over 20 years.

“We have wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, and even at one point a mother and a son,” says Pillsbury. “Half of the employees are related to someone else, which can sometimes be a challenge when they want to take vacations.”

He adds that people are reassured by the company’s investment in technology in order to stay relevant and viable for the future. Even the traditional press operators are happy to see digital technology in the business because they want to work for a healthy, growing company.

In addition to advancing technology, Rose City Label also makes an effort to promote within the company so employees can advance in both skill and pay. Employees appreciate the company’s early adoption of the national TLMI LIFE eco-friendly certification. Being green is important to Rose City Label, so they water wash flexo plates, recycle, and have recently purchased 100% wind power to run the business. Celebratory pizza parties and the encouragement to bike to work make them stick around too.

Though there isn’t a third generation ready to take charge yet, Pillsbury says he’s focused on keeping the business strong and profitable.

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What’s on the Horizon: The 2018 SGIA Expo

Posted Monday, May 21, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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Featuring the latest innovations in technology and new ideas, the 2018 SGIA Expo is ready to take on Las Vegas.

Registration is open for the 2018 SGIA Expo (Las Vegas, October 18–20), show owner and producer the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) announced. Registration for the Expo is free through September 19.

With over 500 exhibitors and more than 20,000 registrants expected to attend, the SGIA Expo continues to be the most exciting printing trade show in North America, supplying industry leaders with new ideas, applications and technologies to catapult their businesses to new levels.

As printing evolves, and technologies and markets converge, the SGIA Expo facilitates industry development, giving printers and suppliers a comprehensive look at the state of the industry and what is on the horizon for printing.

“The SGIA Expo attracts printers across a broad range of markets, and this is not by accident. Whether you are in packaging, commercial, garment, graphics or industrial, there are many technologies, ideas and insights to be gained from the resources at the most dynamic show in printing,” said Ford Bowers, President & CEO, SGIA.

A robust 72-session conference program will complement the Expo floor, giving attendees insights into how they can maximize the latest machinery, applications, consumables and ideas they see on display.

Register and learn more about the 2018 SGIA Expo at

SGIA — Supporting the Leaders of the Digital & Screen Printing CommunitySpecialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is the trade association of choice for professionals in the industrial, graphic, garment, textile, electronics, packaging and commercial printing communities looking to grow their business into new market segments through the incorporation of the latest printing technologies. SGIA membership comprises these diverse segments, all of which are moving rapidly towards digital adoption. As long-time champions of digital technologies and techniques, SGIA is the community of peers you are looking for to help navigate the challenges of this process. Additionally, the SGIA Expo is the largest trade show for print technology in North America. “Whatever the medium, whatever the message, print is indispensable. Join the community — SGIA.”

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PIA Applauds Introduction of PRINT Act; Urges Washington to Reject Tariffs on Canadian Uncoated Groundwood Paper

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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Printing Industries of America President & CEO Michael Makin released today the following statement regarding introduction of the Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade (PRINT) Act of 2018 by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME):

“Printing Industries of America (PIA) has spent the better part of 2018 informing the Department of Commerce of the unique circumstances in the trade remedy case targeting Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood (UGW) paper, providing a realistic viewpoint of paper consumption, and explaining the devastating impact taxing produce is having—now—on the print and publishing industries.

Currently, alleged anti-dumping tariffs and countervailing duties are being collected at the border and printers are feeling the effects of market upheaval in regards to scarce supply and higher costs being passed onto end users. While PIA respects U.S. trade law and understands a quasi-judicial process to determine final injury to the sole petitioning paper company must proceed, the association also has a responsibility to stand up for its member companies caught in the crosshairs of this ongoing investigation.

The printing industry is constantly innovating and reinventing itself to stay competitive in the modern communications marketplace. Taxing our most essential raw material drags down the industry’s job creation, economic growth, and future viability. The reality is that demand for newsprint and electronic alternatives—not unfair foreign competition—has driven down consumer use of newsprint. That’s why PIA applauds Senators Collins and King for standing up to say “time out” on behalf of the printing and publishing industry by introducing the PRINT Act.

This bipartisan bill would require the Department of Commerce to conduct an economic wellbeing study on the printing and publishing industry and pause any affirmative determinations on final tariffs until President Trump has certified receipt of report and has concluded such determinations are in the national interest. Most importantly, the PRINT Act would halt the current collection of cash deposits for Canadian UGW imports.

Trade remedy laws are designed to help domestic industries attain a level playing field on which to succeed—not to create an exponential number of domestic losers in the process. The PRINT Act is crucial to restoring a much-needed sense of sanity surrounding tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper. PIA endorses this legislation and will continue to work to highlight the need for rational decision making in relation to this ill-conceived tariff.”

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Why PGSF matters to the future of our industry

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by John Berthelsen, VP-Development, Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation.

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When I have conversations with leaders of graphic service providers, as well as the suppliers to those companies, I hear one consistent theme. They are worried about replacing a workforce that is growing older and retiring. It used to be possible to fill vacancies by “robbing” the competition for experienced workers. For the most part, those days have ended. Today companies must look closely at their ability to attract young people and facilitate their training. That is where the Print and Graphic Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) comes into play.

While the Foundation cannot replace a production worker or a CSR next month, we do provide an important resource for the macro issue of providing workers for the industry. And we cannot do this important work without the support of companies and individuals from the industry. We work with high schools and colleges across the United States to promote graphic communications as a career choice for young people. We explain the wide range of possibilities available in a stable, wide spread industry. And, in the greater big picture, this helps everyone. Our scholarship alumni are working in virtually every industry occupation for producers and vendors. Some are even working today as buyers of industry products and services.

We can assist companies with local promotion of careers with posters and career guides that inform young people about these opportunities. Many companies use these on a local basis for high school career days, when giving plant tours and for educating school officials and parents. On our website, we provide print files for localization and reproduction of the poster and guide. We also assist by providing resources for the development of intern and apprenticeship programs.

And, of course, when a student determines that they want to pursue a career in graphics, we assist them with financial support. PGSF has been around for more than 60 years and has provided support to over 7,000 students who are now working in the field. Annually, we average over 200 students receiving more than $400,000 in total. Most scholarships come from permanent endowments created over the years. But we also have annual scholarships that are funded in any given year. New endowments can be funded over a period of years, once established.

Competition in today’s market is more difficult than ever. The winners will be those companies that make the right strategic decisions and do the most to recruit and employ the most talented young minds. So, as the industry continues to evolve its development will rest in the hands of those who serve as its future. You can help PGSF make sure that we are attracting and supporting those bright young minds.

For more information on PGSF and its programs, go to Or you can contact me at We look forward to building the future workforce of the industry together.

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