New Oregon State Employment Laws

At the state level, this year Oregon has passed several notable employment laws.  Many take effect January 1, 2018.   

For employers that compel employees to falsify documents related to hours worked or compensation received, new legislation authorizes employees to seek private actions to recover damages and lost wages.  

The Paid Sick Leave Law has been amended allowing employers to cap accruals.  

For businesses that retain Social Security numbers, Oregon has issued new privacy protections on how businesses secure and dispose of that information.

The most significant new employment law takes effect in July of 2018.  Oregon may be the first state to enforce Predictive Scheduling regulations.  The regulations apply to businesses with 500+ employees in retail, hospitality and food services.  

Scheduling Requirements

  • Employers must provide new hires with a written estimate of the employee’s work schedule at the time of hire.  The estimate must state the median number of hours the employee can expect to work in an average one-month period and must explain whether the employee can be included on a voluntary standby list for additional hours.  
  • Employers must provide employees with a work schedule in writing at least seven calendar days before the first day of the work schedule. Beginning July 1, 2020, the written work schedule must be provided at least 14 days in advance.  
  • Employers must provide a rest period of at least 10 hours between shifts unless an employee consents to work during the rest period, in which case the employer must pay the employee one-and-a-half times the employee’s normal rate of pay.  
  • The employee may decline any work shift not included in his or her written work schedule.

 

Penalties

  • Employees must be paid an additional hour of pay for last minute changes of more than 30 minutes to the schedule or change of start or end time.  
  • If the schedule is reduced with short notice, employees must be paid one-half times his or her regular rate for each scheduled hour that the employee does not work.

 

Exceptions

  • Employers have the option of maintaining a voluntary standby list of employees who have requested or agreed in writing to be available to cover unanticipated absences or business needs.
  • Exceptions to this rule apply if shift swaps are mutually agreed to Shift swaps mutually agreed to by employees, work schedule reduction is based upon documented performance issues, natural disaster, or safety threats.  

 

Federal Employment Law Changes in 2018

 

Very few new employment laws take effect in 2018 on the federal level. It’s likely that, at some point in 2018, the Labor Department will update the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), increasing the threshold below which salaried employees may be eligible for overtime (the amount currently stands at $23,660).

 

You should also make sure you’ve got your i-9 paperwork in order, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to increase workplace raids by “four or five times” next year. To prepare your workplace, conduct an i-9 audit now, and be sure to use the updated form i-9 for newly hired employees and review the updated i-9 handbook for employers.

 

Next Steps

Make sure you’re in compliance with any new and existing labor laws, and be sure to seek legal counsel on these and all employment law issues.