Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently signed Senate Bill 299 into law, which makes some clarifications and changes to Oregon’s Paid Sick Time law, which took effect on January 1, 2016.
Articles Discussing General Topics In Oregon Labor & Employment Law.
The Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 greatly extends pay equity protections to a variety of protected classes, prohibits employers from asking for applicants’ salary history, and expands existing remedies available to employees. House Bill 2005 also offers key protections and a safe harbor for employers.
On April 18, 2017, the Oregon Retirement Savings Board adopted final rules to implement the Oregon Retirement Savings Program (known as “OregonSaves”) codified at 170-090-0001 et seq. OregonSaves establishes a state-sponsored payroll deduction retirement savings plan requiring Oregon employers that do not offer retirement plans to their employees to make payroll deductions from their workers’ wages into the state’s program.
On March 9, 2017, the Multnomah County Circuit Court rejected the recent move by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) to require Oregon’s “manufacturing establishments” to double count daily and weekly overtime for their employees under ORS 653.216 and 652.020. In December 2016, BOLI made waves by making a sudden and unexplained change to its longstanding guidance on how to calculate daily and weekly overtime in these establishments. (See coverage here).
Between December 2016 and January 2017, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) instituted a significant change in its historic treatment of the interplay between two statutes that provide for daily and weekly overtime pay.
The City of Portland has issued administrative rules to the “Removing Barriers to Employment,” its ordinance aimed at removing job barriers for individuals with criminal records (Chapter 23.10 of the Portland Municipal Code). The Ordinance, which took effect on July 1, 2016, prohibits criminal history inquiries and background checks until a conditional offer of employment has been made.
On March 2, 2016, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the first geographically-tiered minimum wage hike in the country. Senate Bill 1532 also gives Oregon the nation’s current highest projected state-wide minimum wage.
Oregon law restricting employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal background during the initial stages of the application process (i.e., before a job interview) went into effect on January 1, 2016. Beginning July 1, 2016, the City of Portland will take ban-the-box restrictions a few steps further, with its own ordinance.
Correctly classifying workers as either employees or independent contractors can be complicated and difficult. Multiple and different classification tests apply to a single working relationship – including, but not limited to, distinct tests for: (1) workers’ compensation coverage and premiums; (2) wage-and-hour and civil rights issues; (3) federal taxes; and (4) state payroll and unemployment taxes. These tests are often subjective, and at times can conflict. Additionally, misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor can result in costly audits, assessments of back taxes, and stiff penalties.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since early 2012, 21 states have enacted some form of “password protection” law. Although these laws vary substantially by state, their common thread is the intention to restrict employers’ ability to access content in applicants’ and employees’ restricted online accounts. These laws effectuate that intent by varying combinations of prohibitions on the following types of conduct: (a) requesting an individual’s log-in credentials; (b) asking to view restricted content when accessed by the individual, i.e., “shoulder surfing”; (c) requesting an individual to accept a “friend” or “connection” request; and (d) asking an individual to change privacy settings to permit access by an employer to an account. Yet, 99% of more than 400 senior HR executives and in-house employment counsel who responded to a survey conducted by Littler Mendelson in May 2012 and again in May 2013 stated they do not ask applicants for social media passwords.
On June 12, 2015, the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 454, legislation that will require most employers with 10 or more employees in Oregon to provide employees with up to 40 hours per year of paid sick leave. As discussed below, Portland employers with six or more employees already must provide sick leave. Oregon employers with fewer than 10 employees (or six in Portland) will be required to provide up to 40 hours per year of unpaid sick leave. Once the new measure is signed into law by Governor Kate Brown as expected, Oregon will join California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts in enacting state-wide paid sick leave legislation.