Oregon’s New Sick Leave Law Begins January 1, 2016

Oregon Passes New Sick Leave Laws
Oregon has officially passed a state-wide sick leave law. OregonLive. The new Oregon law is somewhat complex, but generally, if you work for an Oregon employer that has 10 or more employees, you are entitled to sick pay. SB 454. In some situations, the Oregon employer can have less than 10 employees and still be required by Oregon law to provide sick pay to its Oregon employees. Small Oregon employers not required to provide sick pay are still required to provide their Oregon employees with time off, unpaid, under the new sick leave laws. The amount of sick leave and/or sick pay depends upon polices of the Oregon employer or hours worked by the Oregon employee. The minimum amount is 1 hour of sick time or sick pay for each 30 hours the Oregon employee works. The sick leave law does not require an Oregon employer to pay the Oregon employee his/her accrued sick time at the end of employment. An Oregon employer who violates this law can be sued for the unpaid wages. If an Oregon employee is fired because he/she took sick leave, the employee can sue for wrongful termination. Should your employer fail and refuse to pay the sick pay, and the employment ends, likely the employee can seek penalty wages for the late payment of final wages. Penalty wages under Oregon law are calculated by multiplying the regular hourly rate (or if the Oregon employee is not paid by the hour, a calculated rate) by 8 hours per day for up to 30 days. For example, at $15 per hour, the maximum amount of Oregon penalty wages would equal $3,600. ($15 * 8 * 30).

Google By David Schuck

Discrimination for Discussing Wages

Oregon’s Anti-Discrimination Laws Expanded for Wage Issues
Generally, an employer may fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. This is known as “at-will” employment. Likewise, an employee may quit under the same terms. However, the at-will doctrine is not absolute. For example, an employer cannot discriminate against a person based on race or gender. Some may not know that an Oregon employer could not discriminate against an employee because the employee “has made a wage claim or discussed, inquired about or consulted an attorney or agency about a wage claim.” ORS 652.355. However, some confusion came out of the wording of the law. What if the employee was not threatening a wage claim, but simply inquiring about their wages. With the new additions to Oregon law, this issue is clear. It is unlawful to discriminate or retaliate because the employee has: “Inquired about, discussed or disclosed in any manner the wages of the employee or of another employee.” HB 2007. It is still unlawful to discriminate based upon the wage claim, but now an employer may not even discriminate because the employee discusses or compares wages. This is important because often this is how an employee learns he/she is not being paid all their wages.

Google By David Schuck