Oregon employers found themselves on the receiving end of several new key pieces of legislation from Salem this last session. If you are an employer in Oregon, read on:
- Breaks for Nursing Mothers. Effective October 1, 2019, all employers must allow reasonable rest periods for nursing mothers of children 18 months or younger each time an expressing break is needed. If you employ 10 or fewer, you can try to argue ‘undue hardship’ to avoid these new legal requirements.
- Effective January 1, 2020:
- Pregnancy-Related Accommodations: If you employ 6 or more, you are on the hook to dramatically increase your offering of workplace accommodations to employees experiencing conditions resulting from pregnancy – including such accommodations as assigning an assistant to the employee, or modifying work schedules or job assignments.
- Noncompetition Agreements: If you thought the legislature could not restrict a noncompetition agreement any further, think again. You will now be required to provide your employee with a signed copy of the written agreement within 30 days of termination of employment. This applies to already-existing “noncompetes” as well, so you should include this notice requirement in your termination checklist ASAP.
- Workplace Fairness Act: Effective October 1, 2020, you are no longer allowed to enter into a settlement, separation or severance agreement containing a nondisclosure, non-disparagement or other provision preventing an employee (or prospective employee) from disclosing conduct that constitutes unlawful discrimination, unless the employee requests such an agreement. The laws are slightly more generous for an employer entering into a nondisclosure/non-disparagement type agreement with the offending employee.
- This bill also requires ALL OREGON EMPLOYERS to adopt a written policy with procedures and practices to prevent unlawful discrimination and sexual assault. There are numerous, specific criteria the law requires be placed into this policy, and also takes effect on October 1, 2020.
The spotlight is on policies and procedures now more than ever. Contact me today for help in developing your defense-minded strategy.