Miller Nash LLP

Forums For Adjudicating Employment Disputes

Employment-related claims can be asserted in state or federal courts or administrative agencies, including the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Certain claims based on federal law must first be filed with the EEOC before they can be filed in court. A person is not required to file a complaint with BOLI before filing a state law civil lawsuit.

Employees and employers may agree to have employment disputes adjudicated in private arbitration but Oregon has statutory and formal requirements that must be followed to do so. Also based upon Oregon case law, there is also an argument that the Oregon statue may be pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act – so counsel should be consulted.

The Main Sources Of Employment Law

The main sources of employment law are federal and Oregon state statutes, regulations, agency interpretations, and judicial interpretations. State employment statutes include ORS 659A. (which includes most employment discrimination laws), the Oregon’s minimum wage and overtime law, workers compensation statutes, various leave laws, and whistleblower protection laws.

Additional restrictions on employment conditions can be created by agreement between employers and employees, or by collective bargaining agreements between labor unions and employers. Employee handbooks can also sometimes create binding agreements between employers and employees.

National Law And Employees Working For Foreign Companies

Federal and Oregon state law will typically apply to employees who work in Oregon, regardless of the employer or employee’s nationality.

National Law And Employees Of National Companies Working In Another Jurisdiction

Federal law applies to most employees working in the United States and, in some circumstances, to employees outside of the United States for United States-based companies or government agencies. Oregon law may also apply to employees working elsewhere for Oregon-based companies depending on the circumstances – and in certain instances the employee can be protected by both Oregon and the law of the state in which they work.

Data privacy

Oregon employers may monitor employees with cameras or videos in public work areas. Employers may also monitor an employee's work computer and email. It is best practice to inform employees of workplace monitoring in advance, and may be a mandatory subject of bargaining if the workforce is unionized/represented.

Oregon law prohibits recording of private communications without the prior consent of the employee, with limited exceptions for telephone conversations. Likewise, employers cannot request or require that an employee or job applicant grant them access to social media accounts.

Legal Requirements As To The Form Of Agreement

There is no other legal formal requirements for an employment agreement than common-law contract principles, including offer, acceptance and consideration. However, certain employment terms, such as a post-employment covenant not to compete, may be subject to Oregon statutory requirements that it be in a written agreement as well as other requirements addressed at “Restricting Future Activities” below.

Absent an agreement that states otherwise, employment in Oregon is “at-will,” which means that either party may end the employment relationship at any time, for any reason (so long as the reason is not prohibited by law), with or without cause or notice.

Mandatory Requirements
  • Trial Period
  • Employers are not required to provide employees with a trial or probationary period, although they may do so.

  • Hours Of Work
  • Generally, hours of work are not regulated. There are laws, however, that restrict the number of hours and times that minors may work. Also, employees who work more than 40 hours in a week must be paid overtime unless they are exempt. Oregon’s exempt tests may slightly differ from federal law as well. Exemptions are set forth in ORS 653.020 and OAR 839-020-0005.

    Maximum hours of work in certain industries are also regulated by federal and Oregon law. For example, employees in “manufacturing” (which is broadly defined) may not be required to work more than 55 hours per week or 13 hours in a single day, and are entitled to overtime for any hours worked in excess of 10 per day. ORS 652.020.

  • Earnings
  • Oregon's minimum wage depends on the location of the employee, with special rules for employees who may work in multiple areas due to travel for their job. As of July 1, 2020, the standard minimum wage is $12.00 an hour, $13.25 for the Portland metropolitan area, and for "nonurban counties" $11.50 an hour. Minimum wages increase on July 1 each year. A table with the full information about the various minimum wages and locations is published by BOLI.

  • Holidays/Rest Periods
  • Oregon requires an employer to provide eligible veterans with paid or unpaid time off for Veterans Day. Otherwise, there is no legal requirement for employees to receive or take holidays or vacations. Many employers choose to provide full time employees with a certain number of unpaid personal days or vacation days per year by agreement. The number of personal days or vacation days available to an employee commonly increases with the number of years of employment.

    Under Oregon law, rest and meal breaks are mandatory for most employees, unless they are exempt. The time and duration of these breaks depend on the working time of the employee.

    There are very limited exceptions to the meal break requirement, including a hardship exception that requires specific documentation.

  • Minimum/Maximum Age
  • Children under 14 are generally prohibited from employment. Employers who employ minors must follow Oregon’s child labor laws, in addition to other employment laws. Those seeking to employ minors must apply for an Annual Employment Certificate from the state. Employers must also verify the age of each minor hired from an appropriate proof-of-age document, maintain a list of all minors employed, and comply with all federal and state child-labor laws.

    There are no maximum age limits and employers may not discriminate against employees who are over 18 years of age.

  • Illness/Disability
  • Numerous federal and Oregon laws pertain to ill and injured workers, including the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”), Oregon Family Leave Act of 1995 (“OFLA”), Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), Oregon’s “mini ADA,” state and federal anti-discrimination laws, and workers’ compensation laws.

    Oregon law also mandates that employees receive job-protected sick leave. Employers within the City of Portland with six or more employees must provide the sick leave as a paid benefit; Portland employers with fewer than six employees can provide the leave as an unpaid benefit. For Oregon employers outside the City of Portland, ten is the threshold to provide sick leave as a paid benefit.

    Some parties are not covered by Oregon's sick leave law. The federal government is exempt. Independent contractors, railroad workers, individuals employed by a family member, participants in work-training programs, and participants in work-study programs are not eligible for sick leave under the law.

    Covered employers are required to provide one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked (or one and one-third hours for every 40 hours worked). Accrual must begin on the first day of employment, but employees are not eligible to use accrued sick time until the 91st day of employment unless the employer allows leave to be used earlier. Once the employee is eligible to use accrued leave, he or she must be permitted to take sick leave in hourly increments as it accrues. Employees must be permitted to accrue at least 40 hours of sick time per year. Employees must also be permitted to roll over at least 40 hours of accrued but unused sick time from year to year. Employers may limit accrual to 80 hours total or may cap usage at 40 hours per year. If the leave is paid, it must be paid at the employee's regular rate.

    Sick time must be allowed for at least the designated purposes.

    The law contains notice requirements and guidelines for requesting medical documentation and verification. It is enforced by BOLI and there is a private right of action for violations of the law.

    An employer is required to allow employees to use accrued paid sick leave while on OFLA leave, even if the employer's policy would not otherwise allow them to do so. An employer must also allow employees to use this leave to engage in religious observance or practices unless the leave is restricted in the manner in which it may be used or use of the leave will create an undue hardship on the employer.

  • Location Of Work/Mobility
  • Oregon law requires employers to pay employees for travel time between work locations in certain circumstances. This requirement is set forth in the law and may not be changed, waived or eliminated by private agreement.

  • Pension Plans
  • Oregon law does not require a pension plan. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for retirement and health benefit plans in private employment. ERISA does not require the employer to establish a plan. If an employer chooses to establish a plan, however, ERISA requires the plan to meet certain minimum standards such as regularly providing participants with information about the plan, setting minimum standards for participation, vesting, benefit accrual and funding, and requiring accountability of plan fiduciaries.

  • Parental Rights (Pregnancy/ Maternity/ Paternity/ Adoption)
  • Pregnancy discrimination is prohibited by statute in Oregon. The federal (FMLA) and Oregon (OFLA) family and medical leave laws provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave for certain eligible employees. Parental leave includes the birth of a child and may also be taken to care for a newly adopted child or when a foster child is placed with the employee. Oregon law provides an additional 12 weeks of unpaid leave if there is a pregnancy-related disability and an additional 12 weeks for sick child leave.

    Parental leave must generally be taken as one continuous block of time and must be completed within one year after the birth, adoption, or placement of the child. Intermittent leave or reduced schedules must be permitted as necessary for pregnancy disability or prenatal care. Often, but not always FMLA and OFLA leave will apply concurrently, but the OFLA provides additional circumstances where leave may be used that may exceed the FMLA and therefore cannot count toward the same 12week entitlement.

    Pregnant employees are also entitled to reasonable workplace accommodations that would not pose an undue burden on the business, f.e. longer, or additional rest breaks.,.

    For a period of up to eighteen months after childbirth, employers must provide lactating employees with reasonable break times and a suitable room to express breast milk for a nursing child.

  • Compulsory Terms
  • None.

  • Non-Compulsory Terms
  • The parties are free to agree upon terms, but some provisions may not be enforceable as a matter of public policy. If a statute or regulation requires a particular term or condition of employment, the parties may not agree to a less favorable term or condition.

Types Of Agreement

Employment in Oregon is “at-will” employment unless the employer and employee agree otherwise. “At-will” employment means that the employee is employed for an indefinite period of time and that the employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time with or without cause and without prior notice, subject to any statutory limitations on termination (for example, it must not be discriminatory, retaliatory or in violation of any whistleblower laws). An employer and employee may enter into an oral or written employment agreement. Employment agreements may, under certain circumstances, be implied by actions an employer takes or by policies or written promises that employer makes in offer letters, a policy manual or employee handbook.

Written or oral employment agreements can cover a variety of subjects including length of employment, signing bonuses, and bonus structure. Typically, such agreements are used for high-level executives. If the workplace is unionized, a collective bargaining agreement may also address cover certain workplace issues.


Oregon has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which many states have adopted. Under Oregon’s trade-secret statutes, employees must keep an employer’s trade secrets confidential during and after employment. In addition, employers and employees may enter into express agreements that create broader confidentiality obligations on employees.

An employer may not require an employee, as a condition of employment or afterwards unless the employee expressly requests it, to sign a nondisclosure agreement, waiver, or other document that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault in the workplace.

Ownership of Inventions/Other Intellectual Property (IP) Rights

In the absence of a written agreement between the parties, ownership of IP rights is determined by federal law. Generally, an employer owns work created by an employee during employment or with information or “know how” belonging to an employer.

Pre-Employment Considerations

Oregon “ban the box” law prohibits employers from obtaining information about a job applicant's criminal records until after the employer determines the applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position. The law also prohibits employers from advertising openings that exclude people with criminal records from applying.

Hiring Non-Nationals

Employers may not discriminate against employees or applicants based on national origin. However, federal law requires employers to verify that employees are eligible to work in the United States, which includes completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). Employers are subject to penalties for employing people who are not authorized to work in the United States.


Hiring Specified Categories Of Individuals

Federal and Oregon state discrimination laws prohibit an employer from discriminating against individuals based on a legally protected characteristic, including disability, race, color, creed, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran or military status, whistleblower status, or protected genetic information. Entities that contract with the federal government may be required to have affirmative action programs. There are restrictions on the types of work that minors can be required to undertake.

Outsourcing And/Or Sub-Contracting

Like most states, and under most federal laws, Oregon has special rules for when someone may qualify as an independent contractor or consultant, otherwise they will be considered an employee and entitled to all rights and privileges (and associated taxation) by default.

Oregon also requires special licensure/registration for: farm/forest labor contractors, construction labor contractors, and property services/janitorial contractors. It also has statutory restrictions on “employment agency” activities.

Changes To The Contract

If employment is at-will, the employer may change the terms and conditions of employment on a prospective basis. If there is an oral, written, or implied employment contract (or a collective bargaining agreement between an employer and a labor union), the terms of that contract will govern whether and how changes to the contract may be made.

Change In Ownership Of The Business

Unless there is a contract or collective bargaining agreement, there are generally no specific employment-related rules governing a change in the ownership of a business. Successor employers are not generally required to hire the former employer’s workforce, although various restrictions may apply where the successor employer is considered an alter ego of the former employer. If a successor employer hires some or all of the predecessor employer’s employees, employees may generally be subjected to new or different terms and conditions of employment upon hire by the successor employer.

Oregon law does impose potential liability for unpaid wages upon what it deems as the “successor to the business” which requires special care when planning for an ownership transition or sale of a business.

Social Security Contributions

Employers and employees are required to make social security contributions as a matter of federal law. The employer must withhold the employee’s contribution from the employee’s pay.

Accidents At Work

Oregon’s workers’ compensation laws provide medical and job-protected leave benefits to employees who are injured at work. Oregon employers are required to ensure that subject workers are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

Under the Oregon Safe Employment Act of 1973 (OSEA), Oregon employers are also required to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. Employers are subject to civil and criminal penalties for violations of the OSEA.

Leave laws and disability laws may also be applicable.

Discipline And Grievance

In private employment in Oregon, discipline and grievances are governed by the employer’s policies, any employment agreement or collective bargaining agreement. Most employer policies provide for discipline up to and including termination of employment for violations of employment policies, insubordination, or other employee misconduct. Progressive discipline policies may be viewed as creating a contractual right to continued employment on the part of the employee.

Harassment/Discrimination/Equal pay
  • Harassment / Discrimination
  • Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics such as race, creed, color, sex (including pregnancy), religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, veteran or military status, or disability. Discrimination is prohibited in all aspects of employment, including job postings, interviewing, hiring, payment, other terms and conditions of employment, and termination of employment. Harassment includes both conduct within the workplace location and offsite where there is a nexus to the working relationship such as conferences or work-related or hosted events. Oregon also adopted the Fair Workplace Act in 2020 which, among other things, extended the timeframe in which complaints may be brought to five years and mandates that employers adopt and enforce policies addressing discrimination and harassment with statutorily mandated terms. It also added robust protections related to employee speech regarding potential discrimination and harassment.

    Federal and Oregon state law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report discrimination or harassment or participate in an investigation into such complaints, or who make use of sick time or other protected leaves.

  • Workplace Accommodations
  • Under federal and Oregon law, employees may be entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace based on disability, pregnancy, and religion.

  • Equal Pay
  • As of 2019, Oregon also has a robust Pay Equity Act prohibits employers and prospective employers from:

    • Screening job applicants based on their current or past compensation;
    • Determining the compensation for a position based on the current or past compensation of a prospective employee; and
    • Lowering an employee's compensation to comply with the provisions of the Pay Equity Act.

    Additionally, the Pay Equity Act prohibits employers from seeking the salary history of an employee or applicant from the employee/applicant or the employee/applicant's current or former employer.

    The Pay Equity Act does not prohibit employers from compensating two employees differently if all the difference in compensation is based on a "bona fide factor" related to the employee's position, like f.e. seniority and merit systems or systems that measure earnings by quantity or quality of production.

    The Pay Equity Act does not prohibit an employer from (a) considering a current employee's compensation during a transfer, move, or hire of the current employee to a new position with the same employer or (b) requesting from a prospective employee written authorization to confirm his or her prior compensation, so long as the employer does so only after making an offer of employment to the prospective employee that includes an amount of compensation.

    • An employer may avoid having to pay compensatory and punitive damages if it can establish that it completed in good faith an equal-pay analysis—defined as "an evaluation process to assess and correct wage disparities among employees who perform work of a comparable character"—within three years of the date on which the employee filed his or her complaint and the results are corresponding to the requirements.
    • It eliminated the wage differentials for the plaintiff and made "reasonable and substantial progress" toward eliminating wage differentials for the protected class asserted by the employee.

Compulsory Training Obligations

Other than mandated safety or health related trainings that may be required for the industry, trade or in the context of the pandemic response, there are no compulsory training obligations placed upon the employer or the employee. However, if the employer requires the employee to attend training, the employer must pay the employee at least minimum wage for the training time.

Offsetting Earnings

An Oregon statute prohibits employers from making deductions from an employee’s wages except in limited circumstances set forth in the statute. In addition, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 may apply.

Payments For Maternity And Disability Leave

Pregnancy and disability leave (see above) are unpaid, unless the employer’s policies provide otherwise. An employee may generally use accrued vacation leave, sick leave, or other paid leave that the employer offers during the period of pregnancy or disability leave, in accordance with the employer’s policy.

Compulsory Insurance

Employers must generally maintain workers’ compensation insurance and unemployment insurance for employees in Oregon.

In addition, under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, certain employers may be obligated to provide health insurance benefits under the newly enacted and can face fines and penalties for failing to provide “minimum essential coverage” to their employees. The obligations generally depend on the size of the employer.

Absence For Military Or Public Service Duties
  • Military Service and Military Spousal Leave
  • Employees who take leave for military duty are protected by federal law and have specific reinstatement rights. Oregon law also provides public employees with certain paid military leave entitlements.

    An employee whose spouse has received an impending call to active duty during a period of military conflict may take up to 14 days of (unpaid) job-protected leave from work.

  • Jury Duty
  • Employers must allow employees to take a leave of absence while they are serving as jurors. The leave does not need to be paid.

Works Councils or Trade Unions

Under federal law, employees may organize or choose to be represented by a labor union. Union activity is generally governed by federal law.

Employees’ Right To Strike

Federal law generally prohibits employers from terminating employees who are on strike.

Employees On Strike

Employees on strike are generally protected and cannot be terminated, unless the employees engage in serious misconduct while striking or the strike was unlawful and unprotected. However, if employees are on an economic strike they may be permanently replaced by the employer and may be denied reinstatement if there are no open positions upon the conclusion of the strike, and until open positions materialize.

Employers’ Responsibility For Actions Of Their Employees

Employers are typically responsible for the conduct of their employees unless the employee was acting outside the course and scope of employment.

Procedures For Terminating the Agreement

There are no requirements related to the procedure for terminating employment, unless specified in a contract or a collective bargaining agreement. Oregon law dictates when final pay must be given to an employee and will depend on the reason for termination. If an employee quits with less than 48 hours' notice, excluding weekends and holidays, the paycheck is due within five business days or on the next regular payday, whichever comes first. If an employee quits with notice of at least 48 hours, the final paycheck is due on the final day worked, unless the last day falls on a weekend or holiday. In that case, the paycheck is due on the next business day. If an employee is discharged, or if the employee and employer mutually agree to terminate the relationship, the final paycheck is due not later than the end of the next business day. There is a statutory exception from the final paycheck requirements if a collective bargaining agreement makes provisions for final pay.There are no requirements related to the procedure for terminating employment, unless specified in a contract or a collective bargaining agreement. Oregon law dictates when final pay must be given to an employee and will depend on the reason for termination. If an employee quits with less than 48 hours' notice, excluding weekends and holidays, the paycheck is due within five business days or on the next regular payday, whichever comes first. If an employee quits with notice of at least 48 hours, the final paycheck is due on the final day worked, unless the last day falls on a weekend or holiday. In that case, the paycheck is due on the next business day. If an employee is discharged, or if the employee and employer mutually agree to terminate the relationship, the final paycheck is due not later than the end of the next business day. There is a statutory exception from the final paycheck requirements if a collective bargaining agreement makes provisions for final pay.

Instant Dismissal

Employment in Oregon is generally “at will,” meaning that the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, with or without notice – subject to state and federal discrimination and labor laws and any employment contract.

Employee's Resignation

See “instant dismissal,” supra.

Termination On Notice

Absent a contract between the employer and the employee to the contrary, employees may generally be terminated without prior notice. However, notice may be required before certain plant closings or mass layoffs.

Termination By Reason Of The Employee's Age

Federal and state discrimination laws prohibit termination based on age except in very limited and unusual instances.

Automatic Termination In Cases Of Force Majeure

If the employment is at-will, the employer or employee may terminate regardless of the reason, including force majeure.

Collective Dismissals

Oregon does not regulate workforce reductions or mass layoffs for private-sector employers; but the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires companies planning a “mass layoff” to notify workers 60 days before the closure. Companies must provide written notice to the Employment Security Department and to the chief elected official of the community where the layoff or closure will occur.

Notice is triggered when a covered employer closes a facility that will result in 50 or more employees during a 30-day period. Additionally, a covered employer must give notice if a layoff will result in a loss of 500 or more employees, or 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the workforce.

Termination By Parties’ Agreement

If the employer and employee have an agreement, or if the employer and a labor union have a collective bargaining agreement, then termination must be done in accordance with the terms of the agreement or collective bargaining agreement.

Directors Or Other Senior Officers

Termination of employment does not automatically bring an end to board membership or officer designation. A company’s articles of incorporation and/or bylaws will usually govern the steps needed to terminate those relationships.

Special Rules For Categories Of Employee

There are no special rules for terminating any particular category of employees.

Whistleblower Laws

Most federal and Oregon laws prohibit employers from terminating or otherwise discriminating against employees who complain about conduct prohibited by those laws or participate in an investigation into potential prohibited conduct. Oregon’s whistleblower law also protects employees from discrimination or retaliation when they in good faith report criminal activity to any person, cooperate with a criminal investigation, bring a civil proceeding against an employer or testify at a civil proceeding or criminal trial. It also protects public and certain non-profit employees in Oregon from retaliation for reporting waste, fraud and abuse or other workplace violations.

Specific Rules For Companies in Financial Difficulties

In addition to complying with WARN Act requirements (described above in the Collective Dismissals section), companies experiencing financial difficulty must also comply with federal bankruptcy laws, which may require them to continue honoring employment agreements and/or continue voluntary employee benefits.

Special Rules For Garden Leave


Restricting Future Activities

Noncompetition agreements (i.e. restrictions on an employee’s ability to work in a particular industry/type of employer within a defined geographic area for a period of time after employment ends) are valid in Oregon, as long as (1) at least two weeks before the first day of an employee's employment, the employer notifies the employee in writing that a noncompetition agreement is a condition of employment, (2) the noncompetition agreement is entered into upon the employee's subsequent bona fide advancement, (3) the employer provides the employee with a signed copy of the agreement within 30 days after employment ends (provided, that BOLI has stated it cannot occur on the final day of employment), and (4) the employer has a protectable interest. Both federal and state courts in Oregon have defined "bona fide advancement" as used in the Oregon statute to mean promotion or advancement to a higher position.

Also, an employer may enter noncompetition agreements only with executive, professional, or administrative employees who make at least the most recent year's median family income for a four-person family as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The term of a noncompetition agreement may not exceed 18 months from the date of the termination of employment.

The statute makes an exception for "bonus restriction agreements," which restrict competition after termination of employment and limit the penalty for competition to "forfeiture of profit sharing or other bonus compensation that has not yet been paid to the employee."

Valid noncompetition agreements, whether voluntary or mandatory, must also meet four general requirements: (1) the restriction must be partial or restricted in its operation with respect to time or territory; (2) it must be supported by good consideration; (3) it must be reasonable; and (4) there must be a protectable interest.

Non-solicitation Agreements (must be supported by sufficient consideration and have “reasonable” terms to be enforceable under Oregon law.

Severance Payments

Oregon does not require an employer to provide severance pay. Employers may voluntarily pay severance to dismissed employees or they may have a severance plan that applies to all employees. If an employer offers a severance payout, the employer may require that the employee sign a release. A release that relates to certain claims, including age discrimination claims under federal law, requires a notice and waiver period, along with specific statutory language. Oregon law also prohibits severance or separation agreements from including terms that would prevent an employee from discussing or complaining about discrimination, harassment or other unlawful conduct so terms related to non-disparagement and confidentiality.

Special Tax Provisions And Severance Payments

Severance payments are subject to taxation and are generally treated as wages.

Allowances Payable To Employees After Termination

Absent a written agreement, policy or practice to the contrary, there is no requirement for employers to cash out accrued, unused sick leave or vacation leave upon separation. Employees who are dismissed may qualify for state unemployment benefits. Employers pay taxes for these unemployment benefits, and they are administered by the Oregon Employment Department.

Time Limits For Claims Following Termination

If an employee wishes to pursue state law claims with BOLI, the complaint must generally be filed within 180 days, except for claims brought under the Oregon Fair Workplace Act which allows claims to be filed for up to five (5) years. If the claim being pursued is a federal claim, the complaint must be filed or “cross-filed” with the EEOC within 300 days. If there is no requirement to file a complaint with an administrative agency, the time limits for filing suits in federal or state court are governed by the statute under which claim is made. The statute of limitations for contract claims is six years, and most other employment related claims are three years.

Specific Matters Which Are Important Or Unique To This Jurisdiction

Oregon law also provides for:

    1. leave for the victims of crime;
    2. protection from discrimination based on expunged juvenile record;
    3. the prohibition of polygraph exams;
    4. leave to donate bone marrow;
    5. the legal use of lawful tobacco products on off-duty hours;
    6. leave for death of a family member under OFLA;
    7. reasonable unpaid rest periods for employees to express breastmilk; and

limitations on pre-employment background checks. employers must also provide reasonable safety accommodations to employees who are victims of domestic violence, unless doing so would pose an “undue hardship”. This may include a transfer, reassignment, modified schedule or any other adjustment to a job structure, workplace facility, or work requirement in response to actual or threatened domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.


Medical and recreational marijuana has been decriminalized in Oregon. Nevertheless, an employer may prohibit marijuana use and it may conduct drug tests to ensure compliance with such a prohibition. Employees do not have a private cause of action if they are terminated based on marijuana use, nor does the law require employers to accommodate an employee’s off-site use of medical marijuana.

Predictive Scheduling

Oregon has a predictive scheduling law that applies to retail, hospitality, and food-service employers with more than 500 employees. This requires:

  • Mandatory Rest Period
  • If applicable, Oregon’s Predictive Scheduling Law requires employers provide employees with at least a ten-hour rest period between work shifts, to address shifts that require closing at the end of one shift and opening for the next. An employer may schedule an employee to work during this rest period only if the employee requests or consents to do so. If an employee works during the rest period, the employer must pay time and a half for all time worked during the rest period.

  • Restrictions on Altering Employee Schedules
  • Employers subject to this law must also post a written work schedule at least 14 days before the first day on the schedule. Employees are entitled to give input into schedules. Certain employer-made changes to the posted schedule after that time entitle employees to additional compensation. The employer must also provide each new employee with a written, good-faith estimate of the employee's works schedule at the time of hire.

    Some schedule changes are entitling an employee to one additional hour of pay, f.e. adding more than 30 minutes to the work shift; changing the date or state/end time of the employee's work shift with no loss of hours; and scheduling the employee for an additional work or on-call shift.

    Other schedule changes can entitle an employee to one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay per hour for each schedule hour that the employee does not work, f. subtracting hours from work shift before or after the employee reports for duty; changing the date or start/end time of the employee's work shift, resulting in a loss of hours, cancelling the employee's work shift.

  • Voluntary Standby Lists
  • An employee may volunteer to be on a standby list of employees willing to work on-call shifts. The employee may not be entitled to additional compensation under this circumstance.

Search by:
Need more information?
Contact a Contributing Author:
Amy Robinson
Miller Nash LLP
United States

Matt Tripp
Miller Nash LLP
United States


© 2021, Miller Nash LLP. All rights reserved by Miller Nash LLP as author and the owner of the copyright in this chapter. Miller Nash LLP has granted to Multilaw non-exclusive worldwide license to use and include this chapter in this guide and to sublicense Lexis Nexis, a division of RELX Inc. and its affiliates certain rights to use and distribute this Guide.

The information in the How to Hire and Fire Guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.

Publication Date: June 2021