“Change is Inevitable. Growth is Optional!”

Posted by Christy Putnam on July 16, 2019 at 2:21 PM

Workplace Anti-discriminiation Minimum Wage Law Paid LeaveIt’s that time of year when the impact of the recent Oregon Legislation Session is starting to be realized by employers. Several new laws (and at least one that previously was implemented) are, or will be, affecting employers and employees. Following is a summary of just some of the changes on the horizon.

Paid Family Medical Leave

It looks like Oregon Paid Family Medical Leave is coming. Lawmakers recently passed HB 2005 making the leave benefit available to Oregon workers, who make at least $1,000 in a calendar year, beginning in 2023. Employees will receive up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child, recover from an illness, or to care for a family member. Workers and employers will share in the cost of the program (employers with under 25 employees will not be required to contribute, though employees will still be eligible to participate in the program). Contributions of no more than 1% of wages begin in 2022 with employers paying 40% and employees paying 60%. Oregon joins 7 other states currently offering Paid Family Medical Leave benefits.

Federal Inspection of Employment Eligibility Records – SB 370

This bill requires an employer to notify employees within 72 hours of receiving notice of an inspection by a federal agency compelling the employer to provide access to records of forms and any other documentation used by the employer to verify the identity and employment eligibility of an employee.

Oregon Retirement Saving Plans

Effective January 1, 2020, SB 164, requiring employers to comply with requirements of the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan, will go into effect. It will make an employer's failure to comply with the requirements of the plan an unlawful practice, permit an employee to file a complaint alleging unlawful practice with the Bureau of Labor and Industries, and authorize the Bureau of Labor and Industries to assess a civil penalty against an employer engaging in unlawful practice. The bill will not create a direct remedy for the employee.

Oregon Workplace Fairness Act (OWFA)

Most employers currently have a written anti-discrimination policy. Yet with the recent passage of SB 726, employers will be required to have a policy which includes the following elements:

  • The process by which to report alleged discrimination or harassment;
  • The name of a specific individual, and an alternate person, to whom reports of suspected discrimination or harassment are to be made;
  • An encouragement that employees and employers are to document any incidents believed to constitute discrimination or harassment;
  • That an employee has five years from a suspected incident of discrimination or harassment to bring a legal action; and
  • That an employee may not be required to enter into any kind of a non-disparagement or nondisclosure agreement regarding alleged discrimination or harassment, unless requested by the aggrieved employee; that an employee making such a request has seven days to revoke such an agreement.

This written policy must be provided at time of hire and at time of discrimination or harassment complaint, and it must made available in the workplace upon request.

Minimum Wage Increase

Enacted in 2016, SB 1532 was passed which established a series of minimum wage rate increases which will extend through July 1, 2022. Following is the most recent update:

Oregon Minimum wage increased once again effective July 1, 2019. The Portland Metro rate went to $12.50 per hour with the Standard rate increasing to $11.25 and the Nonurban Counties are now at $11.00. New Minimum Wage Rates posters are available through the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and are required to be posted. The next increase will be effective July 1, 2020.

If you want to receive timely updates on employer law changes, like those listed above as well as others that were not covered here, People Savvy HCM Essentials is a valuable, affordable tool for all HR professionals in any size organization. Contact us today to learn more, and get quickly signed-up, so you can keep up with the ever changing landscape of HR!


Topics: Human Resources, Minimum Wage, Payroll, HR Compliance, Taxes

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