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Employees Catch a (Meal) Break from the Oregon Supreme Court

On April 23, 2020, the Oregon Supreme Court declined to review a ruling by the Oregon Court of Appeals in which employers were held to a standard of “strict liability” for failing to ensure that non-exempt employees take their full 30-minute meal breaks.

Oregon Temporarily Lifts Weekly Work Hour Limits for Certain Manufacturers for COVID-19 Crisis

Oregon employers received a temporary easing of the weekly work hour limits on manufacturing employees to address the emergency created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Oregon Issues “Stay Home, Save Lives” Executive Order

On March 23, 2020, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an Executive Order requiring all individuals to stay home to the maximum extent possible, prohibiting all non-essential social and recreational gatherings, limiting travel, and closing certain retail, childcare and other service-oriented businesses. While not a full shelter-in-place order as implemented in other states, Executive Order 20-12 also requires all businesses and non-profits with offices in Oregon to implement telework procedures to the maximum extent or to impose other workplace restrictions to enable social distancing.

Oregon Governor’s Order ‘Stay Home, Save Lives,’ Closes Some Businesses, Imposes Distancing, Work From Home Requirements on Others

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued Executive Order No. 20-12, partially restricting social and recreational activities, closing certain businesses, and requiring social distancing or work from home at other businesses.

A COVID-19 Guide for Oregon Employers

Given the continued spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its implications, employers are confronting difficult questions regarding how to handle safety and health rules, travel restrictions, privacy of employees’ health information, compensation, and other employment and labor issues. There are many resources available on the numerous national (and international) issues to consider in this crisis. Our extensive Littler guidance is available here, and those materials broadly address topics such as preventative measures, what to do if an employee tests positive, and general considerations for furloughs and wage and hour law.

Legislative Highlights for Oregon Employers in 2020

Oregon’s active 2019 legislative session has prompted the need for several policy and handbook updates for employers doing business in Oregon. This Insight provides an overview of the most notable recent employment law developments in Oregon.

Oregon Court Of Appeals Decides There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

The Oregon Court of Appeals just held that employers may be held liable not only for failing to allow employees to take meal breaks, but also for failing to ensure that employees take meal breaks to which they are entitled. This significant decision handed down on November 14 clarifies that Oregon employers have a legal duty to police their employees to ensure that they take their full meal breaks – merely providing employees with the opportunity to take such breaks is insufficient. Pursuant to the Maza v. Waterford Operations, LLC decision, if you fail to force an employee who works six or more hours to take a duty-free meal period for a continuous, uninterrupted 30 minutes, you might be responsible for paying the employee for the full 30 minutes.

Oregon Court of Appeals Requires Employers to Pay Wages for Hourly Employees’ Failure to Take Full 30-Minute Meal Periods

On November 14, 2019, the Oregon Court of Appeals in Maza v. Waterford Operations, LLC, 300 Or. App. 471 (2019), addressed the question of whether an employer can be found strictly liable under Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 839-020-0050(2) when an hourly employee takes less than the entire duty-free, 30-minute lunch break to which the employee is otherwise entitled, regardless of the circumstances.

Recent and Upcoming Changes to Oregon Pregnancy & Childbirth Accommodations Laws

Women with children are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. Six in every ten new mothers are working. Against that backdrop, the Oregon legislature recently enacted two new laws, changing and clarifying the rules governing pregnancy and childbirth accommodations in the workplace. Some changes took effect September 29, 2019. Others become effective January 1, 2020.

Oregon Adopts New Broad Paid Family Medical Leave Law

On August 9, Oregon’s governor signed into law House Bill 2005, which establishes one of the most comprehensive paid family and medical leave programs in the country. Starting in January 2023, Oregon employees can apply for and receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave benefits for leave that qualifies as parental, medical, or safe leave (for victims of domestic violence). The law establishes a new benefit insurance fund, administered by the state’s Employment Department, to which employers with 25 or more employees must make joint contributions.
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