Oregon employers feeling the financial strain of economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are bracing themselves for another impact. On July 1, 2020, Oregon’s minimum wage increase will take effect.
Articles About Oregon Labor And Employment Law.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oregon’s paid family and medical leave law was signed by Governor Kate Brown on August 9, 2019. Eligible workers will be permitted to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave under the new law beginning January 1, 2023.
Just hours before the constitutionally-mandated end of Oregon’s state legislative session (June 30 at midnight), the Oregon Senate voted to pass HB 2005—which will provide paid family and medical leave to eligible employees beginning January 1, 2023. HB 2005 now heads to the desk of Governor Kate Brown, who has already said she intends to sign the bill.
Oregon has joined a growing number of states to require employers to provide their workers paid family and medical leave.
A new Oregon law limits employers’ use of nondisclosure or nondisparagement agreements with their employees with respect to employment discrimination or sexual assault.
Oregon just enacted comprehensive legislation that will have a potentially surprising impact on most Oregon workplaces. On June 11, 2019, Governor Kate Brown signed into law Senate Bill 726, also known as the Workplace Fairness Act. The law creates a new unlawful employment practice that prohibits employers from entering into agreements containing nondisclosure, nondisparagement or similar confidentiality provisions. It also requires employers to adopt and disseminate specific written policies and significantly enlarges the period in which an employee may file a claim of discrimination.
As we recently noted, Washington state amended its data breach notification law on May 7 to expand the definition of “personal information” and shorten the notification deadline (among other changes). Not to be outdone by its sister state to the north, Oregon followed suit shortly thereafter—Senate Bill 684 passed unanimously in both legislative bodies on May 20, and was signed into law by Governor Kate Brown on May 24. The amendments will become effective January 1, 2020.