CityCounty Insurance Services (CIS) Pre-Loss Attorney, Tamara E. Jones provides updates on the Oregon Legislature’s most recent session. Jones explained that a sweeping set of employment laws have passed the Legislature, and Oregon employers will need to prepare for them this year. They include:

  1. Accommodations for Pregnant Employees (effective Jan. 1, 2020) —  Employers with six or more employees must provide pregnant employees with accommodations to help them perform their duties.  The law prohibits employers from forcing a pregnant employee to go on leave if the employee is able to work, and employers don’t have the right to require a pregnant employee to accept an accommodation if it is unnecessary.  New posting and policy requirements are included, as are stronger anti-retaliation provisions.
  2. New Harassment Laws for Public Sector Workplaces (most provisions effective Jan. 1, 2020) — This sweeping, restrictive law extends the statute of limitations on most harassment claims to five years, places limits on language used in separation agreements with employees who complain about harassment, and dictates what a public sector employer must state in a no-harassment policy.
  3. Paid Family Leave — Although employers will not be arranging for withholding or paying for this new leave until 2022 (employees can’t take advantage of the leave until 2023), employers will need to be on the lookout for additional legal guidance from various state agencies in the years ahead.  This leave will be available to all employees who have earned $1,000 or more, regardless of the size of the employer.  Leave will be available to employees for personal or family medical conditions, domestic violence leave, and for new parents.
  4. Notice to employees regarding federal inquiries (effective June 1, 2019) — If a federal agency “compels” production of employee “identity and employment eligibility” records, the employer must provide notice to employees within three business days of receipt of notice of an inspection.

CIS members interested in learning more about these and other new employment laws can listen to a recently recorded webinar available on the CIS learning management system. For more information, visit and search for “Oh, no!  New Employment Laws on the Horizon for 2020.”

Contributed by: Bill LaMarche | CityCounty Insurance Services