Nobody ever said running a business was a walk in the park. As an employer, you have a lot of balls in the air, and compliance is just one of them. One really, really important one that, if dropped, could cost you a whole lot of money.
In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own share of employment related laws that business owners need to be aware of. Here, we’re highlighting some of these key state-specific requirements and laws, and offering guidance to help you keep up.
Bear in mind, this list is not comprehensive, and there may be local or industry-specific employment requirements that your business needs to comply with. It’s best to consult with counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as Justworks does not provide legal advice.
Payroll Tax Accounts
Because Justworks reports state unemployment taxes on your behalf, you’ll need to provide us with some key pieces of information prior to joining our platform. See the link below for more on what information is required, and how to provide that information to Justworks.
Recruiting & Hiring Practices
Subject to some exceptions, Oregon law prohibits employers from asking applicants about their criminal history before the interview stage.
Additionally, the city of Portland prohibits employers with 6 or more employees in the city from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
Salary History Ban & Other Prohibited Inquiries
Oregon law also prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history before a conditional offer of employment, including compensation details, has been made.
Additionally, Oregon law specifically prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants who are not currently employed.
When classifying workers as employees or independent contractors, there are a few things to consider, including the different tests that apply under different federal and state employment laws, and potential penalties and other liabilities for misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Certain state laws apply tests that are more stringent than the guidance provided by federal agencies, such as the IRS and Department of Labor, to comply with federal laws.
You can read our general Help Center article on contractors, and view information on how to determine if someone is a contractor or employee in Oregon at the links below.
Oregon rules on overtime, minimum wage, and exemptions from these laws can be found at the respective links below.
Oregon has exemption regulations that differ in some ways from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and which employers should review when determining whether an employee is exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements. Further, the state law takes locality into consideration, so minimum pay requirements vary by location within the state.
Oregon BOLI: Minimum Wage
Oregon BOLI: Overtime
Oregon BOLI: Salaried Exempt Employees - The “White Collar” Exemptions
ThinkHR: Oregon Minimum Wage and Overtime*
Meal & Rest Breaks
Employees working in Oregon must be given two paid 10-minute breaks and one unpaid 30-minute meal break for each work shift between 6 and 10 hours in length. Shifts of greater than 10 hours in length or 6 hours or fewer in length have different break requirements.
Oregon employees must also be given reasonable breaks to express milk in a private space until the employee’s child is 18 months of age.
Paid and Unpaid Sick Leave
Under Oregon’s sick leave law, employees in Oregon are eligible to receive up to 40 hours of sick leave each year. Whether such leave under this law must be paid depends on the size and location of the employer.
Oregon Family Leave Act
In addition to requirements under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees working in Oregon for a covered employer with 25 or more employees. OFLA leave may be taken for various purposes -- such as bonding with a new child, caring for one’s own or a family member’s serious health condition, caring for a child who is ill (but without a serious health condition), or for certain actions related to one’s spouse being an active service member -- but the amount of leave an employee may take varies depending upon the purpose.
Unique among most state leave laws, the OFLA also allows employees to take up to two of the allotted weeks each year for bereavement purposes.
Oregon BOLI: Oregon Family Leave Act
Harassment & Discrimination
Oregon law requires that employers create a workplace environment free from discrimination and harassment based on a number of protected characteristics.
To provide additional support in this area, Justworks has teamed up with EVERFI to offer all customers free access to a suite of harassment prevention and inclusion trainings.
Every employer in Oregon must adopt a written policy containing procedures and practices for the reduction and prevention of prohibited discrimination, including sexual assault, and discrimination based disability or on an individual being in the military. This policy must meet the minimum requirements as outlined by the state.
Posting & Notice Requirements
Employers must make their required anti-discrimination policy (see above) available to employees within the workplace and provide a copy of the policy to new employees at the time of hire. Employers must also require that any individual who is designated by the employer to receive complaints will provide a copy of this policy to an employee at the time that the employee discloses information regarding prohibited discrimination or harassment.
Additionally, under Oregon’s Employer Accommodation for Pregnancy Act, employers must conspicuously post a notice informing employees of the employment protections under the Act, including the right to be free from discrimination because of pregnancy, and the right to reasonable accommodation.
Employers must also provide a written copy of the notice:
- to new employees, at the time of hire;
- to existing employees, within 180 days after the effective date of the Act (June 29, 2020); and
- within 10 days after an employer receives information from an employee that they are pregnant.
Oregon BOLI: Pregnancy Accommodations at Work
In Oregon, the final paycheck for a terminated employee must be given by certain deadlines depending on the circumstance:
- If an employee quits with more than 48 hours’ notice, the final paycheck must be given to that employee on their final day of work (unless that final day is a weekend or holiday, in which case the final paycheck must be given to the employee by the following business day).
- If an employee is involuntarily terminated, or if the employer and employee mutually agree to terminate the relationship, the final paycheck is due to the employee the next business day.
- If an employee quits with less than 48 hours notice (not including weekends or holidays), the final paycheck must be given to the employee within five business days or on the next regular payday, whichever occurs first.
Oregon employers may decide whether or not their vacation policy requires that unused, accrued vacation be paid out upon termination. As a best practice, employers should clearly set forth in writing any policy with respect to unused vacation.
Business Closings and Layoffs
Federal law imposes certain notice and other obligations on covered businesses before conducting large-scale business closures, layoffs, or relocations. Oregon employers who may be required to file notice should do so with the state’s Office of Workforce Investments. For more information, visit the links below.
U.S. Department of Labor: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Advisor
Oregon Office of Workforce Investments: WARN: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification
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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.