Clay Creps Provides Oregon Employment Law Legislative Update

At Tonkon Torp’s Annual Labor & Employment Event, partner Clay Creps provided a legislative update on employment-related laws moving through the current Oregon legislative session.

Clay discussed two bills that had already been signed into law prior to his presentation (SB 169 and SB 716). SB 169 amends Oregon’s law for Noncompetition Agreements and is only applicable to new agreements. It makes noncompliant agreements void, changes the income requirement to $97,311 (adjusted annually for inflation), and reduces the enforceable term to 12 months. SB 716 requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation for child care, and amends predictive scheduling law. This gives an employee the right to provide input regarding child care to those creating a work schedule.

Clay also previewed several bills which have been signed into law since his presentation. House Bill 2474, signed into law on June 8 by Governor Kate Brown, amends the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), and expands the reasons for leave to include the closure of schools or child care providers due to a public health emergency. Notably, the bill expands OFLA to all employers, reduces the required length of employment to 30 days, eliminates the minimum hours worked requirement, and allows an employee to determine the order in which they use accrued leave, not the employer.

SB 569, signed into law on June 11, makes it unlawful to require an employee or prospective employee to possess or present a valid driver’s license unless driving is an essential function of the job. However, a license can be accepted if the employee presents it voluntarily.

SB 483, signed into law on June 15, essentially flips the burden of proof regarding retaliation from the employee to the employer, and will apply to opposition of practices, complaints, initiation of proceedings, or reported assault under the Oregon Safe Employment Act.

Less likely to pass this session are HB 2489 and HB 2205. HB 2489 seeks to create a new standard for agencies (such as BOLI) to determine an individual’s status as employee or independent contractor. Another longshot is HB 2205, which would establish a procedure for private individuals to bring actions in the name of the State to recover civil penalties for violations of State law, in effect creating a private attorney general act.

Clay’s 30-year career in labor and employment law has focused on providing counsel and litigation services to employers. He has extensive experience litigating employment-related claims in federal and state courts, particularly in representing employers in Americans with Disabilities Act litigation.

The video of Clay’s presentation is below. For more up-to-date information see Clay’s alert: Top Five Bills Impacting Oregon Employers.

Learn more about other topics from the 2021 Annual Labor & Employment Event:
Reopening Strategies & Considerations
OSHA Updates
Mandatory Vaccination Policies
Telecommuting and Flexible Work Schedules
Complying with the Workplace Fairness Act
Updates to Labor Law Under the Biden Administration
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Employers

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