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