Oregon’s existing equal pay law prohibits paying workers of the opposite sex unequally. Beginning on January 1, 2019, the law expands to encompass all members of a protected class (race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, and age). It will be unlawful to:
• Discriminate in compensation for work of comparable character based on an employee’s membership in a protected class.
• Compensate an employee more than is paid to employees of a protected class for work of comparable character.
However, employers may compensate workers unequally based on seniority, merit, production, workplace location, travel, education, training, or experience. Also, compensatory and punitive damages will be disallowed against an employer who, within the three years before a civil action was filed, completed an analysis of the employer’s pay practices and took steps to eliminate any wage differentials.
Employers will want to strike questions about prior compensation when interviewing prospective employees. Employers or prospective employers can no longer seek the salary history of an applicant or employee. Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) may enforce this law starting on January 1, 2019, and individuals may file a civil suit starting on January 1, 2024.
False Wage & Hour Records
Employers may not force or attempt to force employees to create, file, or sign documents the employer knows contain false information regarding the employee’s hours or compensation.
Stay tuned for Part Two of the 2018 employment law update…