Portland, Oregon, ‘ban the box’ ordinance takes effect July 1

by Cal Keith

Employers in Portland, Oregon, need to be ready for the city’s new “ban the box” ordinance, which takes effect July 1.

The state of Oregon’s ban-the-box law took effect January 1, but Portland’s ordinance goes further than the state law.

Portland’s ordinance applies to businesses that (1) employ six or more employees and (2) have at least one employee who spends most of her time working in the city. It does not apply to law enforcement jobs, the criminal justice system, volunteer positions, or jobs for which federal, state, or local law requires criminal history to be considered.

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Oregon employers need to prepare for minimum wage increases

by Joanna Perini-Abbott

With the Oregon Legislature’s passage of a minimum wage increase and the governor’s expected signature, employers need to be ready for a three-tiered minimum wage system.

Under the terms of Senate Bill 1532, an employer’s location will affect the wages it must pay employees. Employers in the Portland metropolitan area urban growth boundary face the greatest increases, stepping up to $14.75 by 2022. The law holds the annual cost-of-living increases in abeyance until 2023 and instead puts in place the following Portland metro area scale: read more…

New Oregon data security law takes effect January 1

by Joanna Perini-Abbott

Oregon’s expanded data breach law will take effect January 1, making two significant changes to the old law—a notification requirement and a change in the definition of “personal information.”  Lock that Data Down

Like the old law, the new law requires businesses that maintain personal information digitally, including information about employees, to notify Oregon residents whose electronically stored information has been compromised as soon as the breach is discovered.

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Time for Oregon employers to prepare for ‘ban the box’ law

by Cal Keith

Oregon’s new “ban the box” law takes effect January 1, meaning employers will be prohibited from asking applicants to check a box inquiring about criminal history on employment applications.

The new law makes it unlawful to exclude an applicant from an initial interview solely because of a past criminal conviction. An applicant is unlawfully excluded if: read more…

Oregon employers must prepare for statewide paid sick leave law

by Cal Keith

Paid sick leave will be the law in Oregon as of January 1, 2016, now that Governor Kate Brown has signed legislation passed by the state legislature in mid-June.

The statewide law mostly mirrors Portland’s sick leave law, which took effect January 1, 2014. It provides that covered employers must allow employees to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of paid sick time to the next year, but they can use only 40 hours in any one year.

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Categories: HR Hero Alerts / Oregon


Oregon employers shouldn’t freak out over new marijuana law

by Calvin L. Keith

On November 4, Oregon voters passed Initiative 91, which legalizes recreational marijuana in Oregon. With Oregon joining other states that have approved recreational marijuana use, Oregon employers may be wondering what the new law means for their drug policies. The short answer is not much.

Initiative 91, which will take effect on July 1, 2015, allows the purchase, distribution, and use of marijuana for recreational purposes in Oregon. Those acts remain illegal under federal law. Federal contractors and employers that receive federal funding still must prohibit the consumption of marijuana on their premises. Employers with employees who are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) must follow regulations on drug testing and drug use.

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Employers need to be ready for end of Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban

The end of Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage means employers need to take a look at their benefits policies and what laws require in terms of married couples.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled on May 19 that the ban on same-sex marriage, which was added to the state constitution after voters passed Measure 36 in 2004, violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling made Oregon the 18th state to allow same-sex marriage. Then on May 20, Pennsylvania joined took the list to 19 states when another federal judge overturned that state’s ban. In addition to the 19 states, Washington, D.C., also allows same-sex marriages.

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New Oregon law gives employees bereavement leave

by Calvin Keith

Oregon will become the first state in the nation to require employers to provide bereavement leave when House Bill 2950 takes effect January 1.

The new law allows for bereavement leave under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA). The law applies to any employer with 25 or more employees in Oregon. Any employee of a covered employer who has been employed for more than 180 days at an average of 25 or more hours per week is entitled to take OFLA leave.

An employee may take up to two weeks of bereavement leave within 60 days of the date on which she receives notice of the death of a family member. “Family member” is defined as the employee’s spouse; same-sex domestic partner; biological, adoptive, or foster parent, child, grandparent, or grandchild; parent-in-law; or a person with whom the employee was in an in loco parentis relationship.

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New Oregon law allows veterans to take off on Veterans Day

by Calvin L. Keith

Veterans Day is coming up on November 11, and a new law in Oregon makes the day even more significant for veterans who want the day off.

The 2013 Oregon Legislature passed a bill requiring employers to provide veterans with paid or unpaid time off on Veterans Day. “Veterans” include those who have served in the U.S. armed forces and have been discharged under honorable conditions.

Employees wanting to take advantage of the new law on Monday were required to provide 21 calendar days’ notice and proof of veteran status. An employer may deny a request if it determines that providing the time off would cause severe economic or operational disruptions.

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Portland, Oregon, latest to adopt mandatory sick leave law

by Calvin L. Keith

Portland, Oregon, has become just the fourth U.S. city to require that employers provide sick leave. The new ordinance goes into effect January 1, 2014. Here is a brief summary.

Who is covered?

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