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Oregon Laws

Discover important state and local employment laws for Oregon.
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Published: Apr 19, 2024

Oregon Simplifies Leave Laws and Protections

Oregon Simplifies Leave Laws and Protections
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Update Effective: July 1, 2024

Governor Kotek signed SB 1515 into law, which will change the administration of employee leaves for baby bonding and for a serious health condition.  Originally protected under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), effective July 1, 2024, these leaves will be covered exclusively by the Paid Leave Oregon (PLO). Qualifying absences such as for sick child leave, pregnancy or birth-related conditions, and bereavement, will remain covered by OFLA. The changes also clarify interactions between OFLA, PLO, and employer-provided paid time off (PTO), entitling employees on PLO leave to use any employer-offered paid leave accruals to supplement their PLO benefits up to the employees’ full wage replacement. Employers are advised to consult with legal counsel to ensure their policies are updated in accordance with these changes.

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Published: Feb 15, 2024

Oregon Employment Department Adopts Regulations to Clarify Administration of Paid Leave Oregon Benefits

Oregon Employment Department Adopts Regulations to Clarify Administration of Paid Leave Oregon Benefits
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Update Effective: Immediately

On January 12, 2024, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) issued final rules to clarify the process for implementing Paid Leave Oregon. The new regulations address components such as benefits administration, eligibility criteria, and more.

Paid Leave Oregon went into effect on January 1, 2023, with employees first able to apply for benefits on September 3, 2023, and applies to employers that have at least one employee in Oregon.

Under the new regulations, verification criteria for safe leave purposes due to bias crimes have been amended, factors to determine a family member’s “affinity status” have been established, and job protection rights and health insurance premium repayments have been clarified, among other updates. 

Employers should review the linked article for additional information on the clarifications of Paid Leave Oregon and update their leave policies accordingly.

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Published: Oct 13, 2023

Paid Leave Benefits Start in Oregon

Paid Leave Benefits Start in Oregon
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Update Effective: September 3, 2023

In Oregon, benefits under the Paid Leave Oregon program begin for eligible employees. Under this program, eligible employees may be entitled to up to 14 weeks of paid, job-protected leave depending on the qualifying event. More on eligibility and requirements can be found here.

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Published: Sep 16, 2021

New limitations for Oregon employers on the use of non-compete agreements

New limitations for Oregon employers on the use of non-compete agreements
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Update Effective: January 1, 2022

Oregon has amended its non-compete statute and the changes apply to all non-compete agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2022. Among the changes to further limit enforceable agreements are a reduced maximum agreement length of 12 months and a new minimum earnings requirement. As of January 1, the employee’s salary and commissions must exceed $100,533 in order for a non-compete agreement to be enforceable and this threshold will be adjusted annually.

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Published: Sep 16, 2021

Oregon law bans hairstyle discrimination in employment

Oregon law bans hairstyle discrimination in employment
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Update Effective: Update effective: January 1, 2022

Governor Brown signed a new law that amends the Oregon Equality Act. The amendment expands the definition of race to specifically include “physical characteristics historically associated with race”, including protective hairstyles and hair type and texture. This adds Oregon to the growing list of states that explicitly prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals based on certain hairstyles.

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Published: Sep 16, 2021

New Oregon Family Leave Act amendments to expand eligibility for employees

New Oregon Family Leave Act amendments to expand eligibility for employees
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Update Effective: January 1, 2022

Oregon has updated its Family Leave Act (OFLA) in several ways. The law has been amended to establish the circumstances under which a reemployed or returning employee is eligible for OFLA based on their previous employment with the company. The new law also provides more lenient eligibility requirements to take qualifying OFLA leave during a declared public health emergency and expands the eligible use of leave to include caring for a child “who requires home care due to the closure of the child’s school or child care provider as a result of a public health emergency”.

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Published: Aug 11, 2021

Vaccine Incentives and Hiring Bonuses

Vaccine Incentives and Hiring Bonuses
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Update Effective: Immediately

Oregon has temporarily amended its Equal Pay Act to explicitly exclude vaccine incentives as well as hiring and retention bonuses from the calculations used to compare and explain compensation differences under the act. These amendments are set to expire on March 1, 2022.

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Published: Aug 11, 2021

Temporary Expansion of Paid Sick Leave Law

Temporary Expansion of Paid Sick Leave Law
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Update Effective: Immediately

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has issued a temporary rule that expands the list of qualifying uses for paid sick leave in the state during a public health emergency. As part of this expansion, eligible employees may use paid sick leave for the purposes of leave in connection with an emergency evacuation order, as well as when the air quality index or heat index is at a level that is considered a health risk by a public official. The temporary expansion is set to expire on January 17, 2022.

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Published: May 13, 2021

Final Rule Addressing COVID-19 Workplace Risks

Final Rule Addressing COVID-19 Workplace Risks
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Update Effective: May 4, 2021

Last year we wrote about Oregon OSHA’s temporary rule for workplace health in light of COVID-19. This temporary rule expired on May 4, 2021, and Oregon OSHA has issued a permanent rule in its place with the intention of repealing the rule when it is no longer necessary to address the pandemic. The rule addresses workplace requirements for all employers, as well as specific requirements for various industries and risk levels, including an exposure risk assessment, infection control plan, training and posting requirements. Several employer actions that were completed in compliance with the Oregon OSHA temporary COVID-19 will satisfy requirements under this rule.

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Published: Nov 12, 2020

COVID-19 Temporary Rule

COVID-19 Temporary Rule
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Update Effective: November 16, 2020

In September, we mentioned Oregon OSHA was working on a temporary rule for workplace health in light of COVID-19. This temporary rule will go into effect on November 16, 2020 and will remain in effect until May 4, 2021, unless revised or repealed before that date. The rule addresses workplace requirements for all employers, as well as specific requirements for various industries and risk levels.

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Published: Sep 17, 2020

Oregon's Workplace Fairness Act

Oregon's Workplace Fairness Act
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Update Effective: October 1, 2020

Last year, Oregon passed the Workplace Fairness Act which, among other things, requires employers to establish a written policy for the reduction and prevention of discrimination and harassment by October 1, 2020. This summer, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries released a model policy for employer use. The policy must be distributed to all employees at the time of hire, and to any employee who discloses information regarding prohibited discrimination or harassment. The act also includes an expanded statute of limitations and restrictions on non-disclosure, non-disparagement and no-rehire provisions as they relate to workplace harassment and discrimination.

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Published: Sep 17, 2020

Oregon OSHA's Draft COVID-19 Temporary Standard

Oregon OSHA's Draft COVID-19 Temporary Standard
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Update Effective: October 1, 2020 (planned)

Oregon released draft rules to address workplace requirements for various industries and risk levels. The rules are currently in the comment phase with a target effective date of October 1, 2020.

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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