Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber on June 13, 2013 signed into law a bill extending employment discrimination protection to interns. The new law grants unpaid interns legal recourse under Oregon’s employment discrimination laws for workplace violations including sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, and retaliation for whistleblowing.
Articles Discussing General Topics In Oregon Labor & Employment Law.
On May 22, 2013, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed into law House Bill 2654, making Oregon the tenth state to enact a law prohibiting employers from accessing employees’ private social media sites. The new law, which becomes effective January 1, 2014, makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers to compel employees or applicants for employment to provide access to their personal protected social media accounts.
On March 13, 2013, Portland’s City Council unanimously passed a sick leave ordinance that, effective January 8, 2014, will require private sector businesses with six or more employees to provide up to 40 hours per year of paid time off for sick leave. Businesses with less than six employees will be required to provide up to 40 hours per year of unpaid time off for sick leave. To qualify for this benefit, an employee must work at least 240 hours in a calendar year within the geographic boundaries of the City.
The City of Portland is considering an ordinance mandating that protected sick leave rights be extended to virtually all employees in the City. If passed, Oregon private-sector employers would join those in San Francisco, California, and Washington, D.C., in being required to provide employees with a minimum number of paid sick days each year. The proposed ordinance’s effect would be far reaching, potentially granting new sick leave rights to 40 percent of Portland’s workforce and creating new compliance requirements for private-sector employers with Portland operations.
Businesses constantly are challenged with correctly classifying workers as either employees or independent contractors. Of course, employers have good reason to be vigilant: misclassification can result in costly audits, assessments of back taxes, and stiff penalties. Under the Oregon independent contractor statute, the “independent contractor” must be engaged in an “independently established business.” This last term is interpreted restrictively and strictly by the state’s courts.
Since January 1, 2008, Oregon employers electing to use binding arbitration agreements with new employees have been required to give two weeksâ€™ written notice of the arbitration requirement before hiring a new employee. For current employees, employers have been required to obtain an employeeâ€™s signature at the time of a â€œsubsequent bona fide advancement.â€