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MARCH 2023 NEWSLETTER

Oregon Employment Law Changes Since 2020

 

January 1, 2020: Additional Requirements for Noncompetition Agreements. Employers are required to provide a copy of the signed noncompetition agreement to the employee within 30 days after their separation from employment. For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2020: Notice Requirements for Federal Inspection records and employees’ identity and employment eligibility document verification. Employers in Oregon must notify employees within three days if they receive notice of a federal agency inspection of records or other documentation used to verify employees’ identity and employment eligibility. For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2020: Pregnancy Accommodation and Written Policy Requirement Updates. Oregon employers with at least six employees are required to have a written pregnancy accommodation policy that includes nondiscrimination and accommodation protections for pregnancy, childbirth, related conditions, and lactation provisions, These employers must provide copies of the policy to all existing employees, new employees upon hire, and also need to provide another copy to a pregnant employee within 10 days of given notice that the employee is pregnant. For more information, click here.

 

October 1, 2020: Requirements for Oregon Workplace Fairness Act (OWFA) Written Policy, Agreement, and Other Requirements Related to Discrimination and Harassment Prevention. All employers with at least one employee in Oregon must have a written discrimination and harassment policy that includes certain specified provisions. In addition, they must provide copies of the policy to all existing employees and new employees upon hire, and another copy to an employee who makes a report of prohibited conduct under the OWFA. For more information, click here.

 

May 25, 2021: Temporary Pay-Equity Exception for Hiring and Retention Bonuses. The legislature temporarily amended Oregon’s pay equity law regarding recruitment and/or retention-incentive bonuses that may otherwise violate the law unless supported by one or more of the specific bona fide factors listed in the law. For more information, click here.

 

June 3, 2021: Predictive Scheduling Law revisions Include Childcare Accommodations. The legislature expanded Oregon’s predictive scheduling laws to require large retail, food service, and hospitality employers to reasonably accommodate an employee’s work schedule availability or request when the employee identifies a limitation, change, or request because of matters related to child care. For more information, click here.

 

June 15, 2021: Workplace Safety Condition Violations and Extended Filing Deadline. Oregon law establishes a "presumption of liability" if an employer takes adverse employment action against an employee within 60 days of the employee making a report of unsafe workplace conditions. For more information, click here.

 

August 6, 2021: Expanded List of Authorized Uses for Oregon Sick Leave for Emergency Evacuation. BOLI issued a temporary rule expanding the list of reasons eligible employees may use protected sick leave under the Oregon Sick Leave law. Specifically, unless an otherwise eligible employee is a first responder, the temporary rule allowed the use of protected sick leave for absences related to an emergency evacuation order of level 2 (SET) or level 3 (GO) issued by a public official with the authority to do so. For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2022: Limitation on Driver’s License Requirements as a Condition of Employment. Oregon law prohibits employers from requiring a valid driver’s license as a condition of employment unless the ability to drive is an essential job function for the position or the requirement is related to a legitimate business purpose. For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2022: Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) Amendments. The legislature amended OFLA to expand the employee eligibility for leave during a public health emergency, reducing the employment requirement from 180 days to 30 days. For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2022: Prohibition of Discrimination Based on Hairstyles or Characteristics Associated with Race. Oregon’s CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act amended the definition of “race” in the existing nondiscrimination statute to include “physical characteristics that are historically associated with race, including but not limited to natural hair, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.” Dress codes and other grooming codes may not violate these provisions. For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2022: Additional Workplace Safety Condition Violations and Extended Filing Deadline. The legislature extended the deadline from 90 days to one year for an employee to file a workplace safety discrimination or retaliation complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2022: Additional Requirements for Noncompetition Agreements. The Oregon legislature amended the statute limiting noncompetition agreements to increase the gross salary and commission requirement to $100,533 and to shorten the permissible post-employment restriction period from 18 months to 12 months. For more information, click here.

 

March 3, 2022: Federal Prohibition of Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims. Federal law amends the Federal Arbitration Act to prohibit employers from enforcing pre-dispute agreements mandating arbitration of sexual assault and harassment claims. It also allows claimants the option to invalidate waivers of their right to litigate sexual assault and harassment claims in joint, class, or collective action proceedings. For more information, click here.

 

April 1, 2022: Heat or Air Quality Index Conditions. BOLI additionally issued a temporary rule expanding the list of reasons eligible employees may use protected sick leave under the Oregon Sick Leave law. Specifically, unless an otherwise eligible employee is a first responder, the temporary rule allowed the use of protected sick leave for absences related to a determination by a public official with the authority to do so that the air quality index or heat index is at a level where continued exposure to such levels would jeopardize the health of the employee. For more information, click here.

 

June 15, 2022: New permanent Oregon OSHA rules related to employee heat exposure took effect. The heat rules apply to work where the heat index is 80 degrees Fahrenheit or above and require additional worker protection including shade, drinking water, and rest breaks. For more information, click here.

 

July 1, 2022: OR-OSHA New Wildfire Smoke Rules. The wildfire smoke rules apply where workers are exposed to Air Quality Index 101 or higher and require protections including respirators, monitoring, and use of engineering and administrative controls. For more information, click here.

 

September 25, 2022: Expiration of Temporary Pay-Equity Exception for Hiring and Retention Bonuses. On September 25, 2022, the temporary exception expired. Concerns are that until the legislature amends Oregon’s pay equity law, there is a risk that retention-incentive bonuses may violate the law unless supported by one or more of the specific bona fide factors listed in the law. For more information, click here.

 

October 19, 2022: New Required EEOC Poster. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a new required “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” poster that employers must post in the workplace. The new poster includes English, Spanish, PDF, HTML, and screen-reader-optimized versions. For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2023: Paid Leave Oregon. In 2019, the Oregon legislature passed the Paid Family Medical Leave Act, establishing a paid ‎family and medical leave insurance program for Oregon workers that will be funded by employee ‎contributions and some employers. For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2023: Agriculture Overtime Requirements and Tax Credits. Oregon agricultural employers must pay overtime to agricultural workers unless an exemption applies. The overtime requirements will be phased in over a four-year period. Beginning January 1, 2023, overtime at the rate of one-and-one-half the employee’s regular rate of pay will apply to hours worked beyond 55 hours in a workweek. For more information, click here.

 

January 1, 2023: Oregon Workplace Fairness Act (OWFA) Written Policy, Agreement, and Other Requirements Related to Discrimination and Harassment Prevention. Employers may no longer request or require confidentiality provisions that prohibit employees from disclosing the amount or fact of a settlement that includes a release of claims covered by the OWFA; those provisions will be permissible only if voluntarily requested by the employee and must be subject to a seven-day revocation period. For more information, click here.

Disclosure: This information has been made available by Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, an Oregon and Washington Employment Law Firm, and other credible resources. 

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