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.
Articles Discussing General Topics In Oregon Labor & Employment Law.
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.
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.
Beginning January 1, 2020, Oregon employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants who have limitations related to pregnancy, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship. The new law applies to employers with at least six employees.
Oregon’s highest court has held that although the state’s “social host” law protects certain persons from liability related to their actions taken as “hosts,” there is no similar insulation from liability for alleged tortious conduct committed while acting in another role, such as employer. Schutz v. La Costita III, Inc., 364 Or. 536 (March 14, 2019).
On November 19, 2018, Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) issued its administrative order and rules implementing the Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 (the “Pay Equity Law”), which includes restrictions on salary history inquiries, expands existing remedies available to employees, and provides a safe harbor for employers that have voluntarily assessed their pay practices to identify and eliminate discriminatory pay practices.1 The administrative rules, summarized below, provide guidance on a number of issues arising under the Pay Equity Law, which takes effect on January 1, 2019.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill last month toughening the state’s already stringent data breach notification law, which will take effect on June 2, 2018. The most significant change for companies to be aware of is the requirement that affected consumers be notified no later than 45 days following discovery of a breach. Additionally, if a company offers free credit monitoring or identity theft protection services to the affected consumers, the company may not require the consumers to provide a credit or debit card number in order to receive such services.
A new Oregon law clarifies Oregon’s daily and weekly overtime laws and sets new maximum-hour limits for certain Oregon employers. The new statute, which Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed on August 8, 2017, requires most employers in the manufacturing sector to pay employees the greater of daily or weekly overtime if an employee works more than 10 hours in a single day and more than 40 hours total in the course of a single workweek. The law also sets a firm 55-hour weekly limit for most manufacturing-sector employees.
A new Oregon statute will require certain large employers to provide their Oregon employees with advance notice of their work schedules. The notice period will initially be 7 days starting next year before increasing to 14 days in 2020. “Predictive scheduling” requirements have been considered by legislatures in several states in recent years, and a number of cities have adopted predictive scheduling ordinances, but Oregon’s is the first to actually become a statewide law.
Oregon has become the first U.S. state to regulate employer scheduling practices in the food service, hospitality, and retail industries. The new law, S.B. 828, will take effect July 1, 2018.