Now is the time for employers to ensure compliance with new employment-related laws enacted by the Oregon Legislature this year, including by updating employment handbooks and other relevant policies as necessary, and also by updating policies to adhere to changing employment best practices.

See our previous blog post on the new changes to Oregon non-compete requirements that also go into effect next year. We also encourage you to watch our webinar discussing some of these new laws, presented earlier this summer.

Oregon Family Leave Act Amendments – HB 2474

Effective January 1, 2022

  • Summary: All employees of a covered employer are eligible to take protected leave during a statewide public health emergency as proclaimed by the Governor, except:
    • Employees who worked for the employer for fewer than 30 days immediately before the date on which the leave would commence; or
    • Employees who worked for an average of fewer than 25 hours per week in the 30 days immediately before the date on which the leave would commence.
  • In addition: Time that an employee is deemed to have worked for a covered employer prior to a break in service or temporary cessation of scheduled hours shall be restored to the employee when the employee is reemployed within 180 days.
  • New protected reason to take OFLA leave: To care for a child who requires home care due to the closure of the child's school or childcare provider as a result of a public health emergency.

Oregon CROWN Act – HB 2935 (Anti-Discrimination Law Amendments)

Effective January 1, 2022

  • Summary: This law adds two definitions to ORS 659A.001 (the statute covering employment discrimination):
    • "Protective hairstyle" means a hairstyle, hair color, or manner of wearing hair that includes, but is not limited to, braids—regardless of whether the braids are created with extensions or styled with adornments—locs, and twists.
    • "Race" includes physical characteristics that are historically associated with race including but not limited to natural hair, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.
  • In addition: Employers may enforce valid dress codes as long as the dress code does not have a disproportionate adverse impact on members of a protected class to a greater extent than the policy impacts persons generally.

Rebuttable Presumption of a Violation If Employee Is Terminated Within 60 Days of Engaging in Protected Activity – SB 483

Currently in Effect

  • Background: Oregon law prohibits employers from discriminating against any employee because they:
    • (1) Opposed any practice forbidden by Oregon's health and safety laws;
    • (2) Made a complaint, initiated a case, or testified relating to Oregon's health and safety laws;
    • (3) Exercised a protected right under Oregon's health and safety laws; or
    • (4) In good faith reported an assault that occurred on the premises of a healthcare employer or in the home of a patient receiving home healthcare services.
  • Summary: In any BOLI action regarding the unlawful employment practices above, there is now a rebuttable presumption that a violation occurred if an employer terminates an employee within 60 days after the employee engaged in the protected activities. This presumption may be overcome by a preponderance of the evidence showing otherwise.
    • If an employer terminates an employee outside of the 60 days, there is no presumption. The burden of proof is on the employee to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation occurred.

Extending Time to File a Health and Safety BOLI Complaint to One Year – HB 2420

Effective January 1, 2022

  • Summary: This law extends the time to file a BOLI complaint regarding health and safety from 90 days to one year.

Child Care Accommodations in Predictive Scheduling Laws – SB 716

Currently in Effect

  • Summary: As part of Oregon's predictive scheduling laws, an employee may now identify limitations or changes in their work schedule availability based on childcare needs.

Prohibition on Making Driver's License a Requirement for Most Jobs – SB 569

Effective January 1, 2022

  • Summary: This law prohibits employers from requiring a valid driver's license as a condition of employment unless the ability to legally drive is an essential function of the job or is related to a legitimate business purpose.

If you have any questions about compliance or about updating your internal employment policies generally, please contact us.