join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

Pacific Northwest Employer Workplace News - November 2015

Oregon Sick Leave: Applicability of Requirements to Employees Occasionally Working in State Unclear Beginning January 1, 2016, Oregon will join a growing number of cities and states mandating that employers provide certain classes of employees with sick leave benefits. For the specific requirements imposed by the new legislation, including when sick leave must be paid, see our article, Oregon Enacts Paid Sick Leave.

New 2015-2016 Employment Laws for Oregon Businesses

The 2015 Oregon legislature has adjourned, but not before handing Oregon businesses a number of significant new employment laws. Below is a brief summary of the new legislation, all of which Governor Kate Brown has signed, that Oregon businesses should consider as they head into the third and fourth quarters of 2015.

Oregon Legislative Update

Oregon employers must comply with new laws signed by Governor Kate Brown mandating the provision of sick leave benefits, prohibiting inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal conviction history on an employment application form or prior to an interview, limiting non-competition agreements to no longer than 18 months from the date of the employee’s termination, prohibiting discipline of an employee who shares wage information, and requiring the continuation of an employee’s group health insurance coverage during family leave.

Oregon Governor Signs ‘Ban the Box’ Legislation

Legislation restricting employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal background during the initial stages of the application process has been signed into law by Governor Kate Brown on June 26, 2015. The “Ban the Box” law, H.B. 3025, will take effect on January 1, 2016.

The People Have Spoken, and It’s Time to Start Smokin’. . . Or Just Say No

It’s July 1, 2015, and Oregon law now allows adults to lawfully use marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Many employers have already faced questions from employees about the impact of the state’s new marijuana law, and many more will face such questions in the coming weeks and months. With that in mind, below is a brief Q&A (based on real questions from employers and their employees) to address some of the most common issues.

Oregon Paid Sick Leave Law Enacted

On June 22, Oregon became the fourth state (behind Connecticut, California and Massachusetts) to enact a paid sick leave law. Employers fortunately have time to become compliant as the law does not take effect until January 1, 2016, and most civil penalties applicable to employer violations of the law will not be assessed until after January 1, 2017. Penalties associated with provisions prohibiting retaliation and employer absence control policies will not be assessed until after January 1, 2016.

Oregon, NYC Criminal History Laws Would Affect Most Employers

Oregon appears set to become the 18th state with a "ban the box" law, assuming Governor Kate Brown signs HB 3025 as expected. The "ban the box" phrase refers to eliminating the criminal history box on job applications that prospective employees are often asked to check off if they have ever been convicted of a crime.

Oregon Enacts Paid Sick Leave

Oregon has become the fourth state, after Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts, to mandate that employers provide their employees sick leave benefits. Subject to certain exceptions, Senate Bill 454, signed by Governor Kate Brown on June 22, 2015, applies to all private-sector employers, regardless of the location of the employer’s primary place of business. The law goes into effect January 1, 2016.

Oregon's New Paid Sick Leave Law: An Overview

On June 22, 2015, Oregon became the fourth state to enact a statewide mandatory paid sick leave law, following California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The bill, signed into law by Governor Kate Brown, requires Oregon employers to provide up to 40 hours of sick leave to employees per year beginning January 1, 2016, and in most cases that leave time must be paid.

Oregon to Become the Latest State to Ban the Box

On June 16, 2015, the Oregon House passed an amended version of House Bill 3025, which will prohibit most employers from asking questions about criminal history on job applications or at any other point in the hiring process before the initial interview. Approval of House Bill 3025 follows closely on the heels of similar legislation enacted in New York City, Illinois, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties (MD), the District of Columbia and the City of Columbia, Missouri.1 Oregon Governor Kate Brown is expected to sign the bill into law, which would become effective January 1, 2016.