Happy New Year Employers! This new year brings a few changes to Oregon’s employment laws that affect eligibility for employee and prospective employee protections under Oregon law. The following provides a summary of each change and a link to each respective bill for more information.
Oregon SB 184: Effective January 1, 2024.
This Bill broadens reporting requirements by employers regarding child support to include payments made to independent contractors and includes the definition of “independent contractor” as “an individual who must file a federal form W-9 under the Internal Revenue Code and who is anticipated to be performing services for more than 20 days.”
Oregon SB 907: Effective January 1, 2024.
This Bill expands the whistleblower protections for workplace safety to include those employees who are retaliated or discriminated against when the employee or prospective employee, “[w]ith no reasonable alternative and in good faith,” refuses to perform work that would expose them “to serious injury or death arising from a hazardous condition at a place of employment.”
Oregon SB 1033: Effective January 1, 2024.
The Bill expands the definition for active military service for purposes of when an employer is required to grant a leave of absence during a period when the employee is in active military service.
Oregon HB 3307: Effective January 1, 2024.
This Bill expands the protections available under Oregon’s employment laws for civil rights, discrimination, and harassment in the workplace to include private sector on-the-job training programs (except those administered by the Department of Corrections or Oregon Corrections Enterprises) and provides that individual participants in the program with job-specific skills shall be considered “employers” for purposes of these laws. The Bill does not, however, establish employment relationships between the participants and the provider of the on-the-job training program for purposes of other laws, including entitlement to leave under the Oregon Family Leave Act. Finally, the Bill lists the criteria for which programs the Bill will apply to, including that the program is for a limited duration.
Oregon HB 3443: Effective January 1, 2024.
While this Bill affects multiple statutes and areas of Oregon law, for the purposes of employment law, the Bill expands eligibility under the Oregon Family Leave Act to include victims of bias crimes.