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New Oregon Laws for 2014

Minimum Wage: Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) announced that effective January 1, 2014, Oregon’s minimum wage will rise from $8.95 to $9.10 per hour. All Oregon employers (other than federal government workers) must post an accurate minimum wage poster, and must display the poster in a conspicuous location as of January 1st 2014. The 2014 poster is now available free of charge on BOLI’s website.

Veterans Day Off Policy: Employers in Oregon must give employees who are veterans time off for Veterans Day under Senate Bill 1, signed into law by Gov. John Kitzhaber on April 4, 2013. Below is a sample policy that you may want to use to inform your employees of this new law.

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OREGON VETERANS DAY POLICY

The Company will provide paid or unpaid time off for Veterans Day if the employee would otherwise be required to work on that day and the employee provides (a) at least three weeks’ notice that he or she intends to take time off for Veterans Day and (b) documents showing that he or she is a veteran as defined by Oregon statute.

To take leave under the law, the veteran must have served on active duty in the armed forces for at least six months and received an honorable discharge. If the individual served in a reserve or National Guard unit, the employee is not qualified for leave unless he or she was deployed or served on active duty for at least six months.

The Company will notify the employee, at least 14 days before Veterans Day, whether he or she will receive time off for Veterans Day and whether the time off will be paid or unpaid. If the Company determines that providing time off on this holiday would cause significant economic or operational disruption or undue hardship, the employer is not required to comply with the law.

If a veteran does not receive time off on Veterans Day, the Company will allow the worker, with approval, to take a single day off within one year of that holiday in order to honor the employee’s military service.

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Portland’s New Sick Time Policy: If you are an employer residing in, or doing business within, the city limits of Portland on January 1st 2014, you will be subject to Portland’s new sick leave rules. The new rules require all employers working or residing within the Portland city limits to provide employees with 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers with six or more employees will be required to pay for the sick leave and those with less than six employees must at least provide the sick leave unpaid.
Sick Leave can be used for any of the following:
1.) Employee or employee’s family mental or physical illness;
2.) To seek legal or law enforcement assistance that ensure health and safety of the employee or employee’s minor child;
3.) Medical treatment for, or to recover from, injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
4.) To obtain counseling for #3;
5.) To obtain services from a victim services provider;
6.) To relocate or to take steps to secure an existing home to ensure the health and safety of the employee or the employee’s minor child or dependent;
7.) Closure of Employee’s place of work, or the school or place of care of the Employee’s child due to official public health emergencies; care for Family Member deemed to be a hazard to the public by a lawful public health authority; or any law or regulations requiring the Employer to exclude the Employee from the workplace for health reasons.

There are still numerous other provisions that an Employer needs to consider when drafting their Sick Leave policy and Employers would be wise to review their existing sick leave policy for compliance or create a new policy if needed. Contact your GNSA Customer Service Team if you need a referral to an HR consultant that can assist you with a new Sick Leave or Veterans Day policy.