The Oregon Legislature has enacted several new laws that will impact the workplace in 2022. This Holland & Knight alert provides a brief summary of select employment laws that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, unless stated otherwise.
- Minimum Wage: On July 1, Oregon’s standard minimum wage will increase by 75 cents per hour, to $13.50. The rate in the Portland metro area will be $14.75 per hour, and non-urban counties’ minimum wage will rise to $12.50.
- CROWN Act: HB 2935 enacts the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (CROWN Act), expanding Oregon’s anti-discrimination laws by prohibiting employers from discriminating against individuals based on physical characteristics historically associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles. The CROWN Act prohibits employers from enacting or enforcing dress code policies that “have a disproportionate adverse impact on members of a protected class to a greater extent than the policy impacts persons generally.”
- Oregon Family Medical Leave Act (OFLA): HB 2474 amended OFLA to provide leave eligibility to employees who are re-employed after a separation or have returned to work after a temporary work cessation within 180 days. In addition, OFLA is expanded to include leave eligibility during public health emergencies if the employer has employed the worker for at least 30 days immediately before the leave begins and the worker averaged at least 25 hours of work per week during the 30 days immediately preceding the leave.
- Oregon Paid Family Medical Leave Act: Pursuant to HB 3398, implementation has been delayed as follows: the Oregon Employment Department must adopt rules by Sept. 1, 2022, and contributions to the program will commence on Jan. 1, 2023. Employees will be eligible to use benefits on or after Sept. 3, 2023.
- Employee Scheduling Input Applicable to Employers Subject to Predictive Scheduling: SB 716 amends ORS 653.450 to clarify that employees may identify child care needs as a reason for having scheduling limitations or requiring changes to their schedule, subject to requested verification.
- Workplace Safety Violations: HB 2420 provides employees one year (rather than 90 days) to file workplace safety violation-related administrative complaints with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). In addition, SB 483 provides whistleblowers who have already filed complaints protections that include a “rebuttable presumption” of discrimination or retaliation if an employee or prospective employee who has complained experiences an adverse employment action within 60 days after reporting certain workplace safety violations.
- Noncompetition Agreements: SB 169 modifies ORS 653.295. Employees subject to a noncompetition agreement must, unless certain additional conditions are met, earn a gross salary and commissions of more than $100,533, adjusted annually for inflation. In addition, the noncompetition agreements’ post-employment duration is shortened from 18 months to 12 months. Agreements that do not satisfy all of the statutory requirements will be void and unenforceable.
- Driver’s License Requirements: SB 569 makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers to require an employee or prospective employee to have a driver’s license as a condition for employment or continuation of employment unless driving is an essential job duty or is related to a legitimate business purpose.