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Oregon-Northwest

Oregon Workplace Fairness Act provisions take effect

Oregon Labor and Industries

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The final provisions of the Oregon Workplace Fairness Act went into effect Thursday.

The law, passed by the Legislature in 2019, increases protections for Oregon workers against discrimination and harassment at work and includes new requirements for employers.

“Everyone deserves a work environment that’s free from harassment and discrimination -- and Oregon law requires it.” says Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle. “Employers must give clear information to workers about where to report discrimination or harassment and have a policy to reduce such conduct. Workers also now have up to five years to file a complaint or lawsuit for these incidents.”

Low-cost training is available to help employers understand their obligations – the next Workplace Discrimination and Harassment seminar is coming up on October 6thEmployers can register here.

New provisions of the Workplace Fairness Act
1. All employers must have a written policy to reduce and prevent harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault at work. They must provide this policy to all workers when they are hired and it must be easily available to all workers. A template for drafting this policy is available here.

The policy must include:
- Information about how workers can report discrimination and harassment
- The name of the individual or position (for example the Store Manager or HR Director) as well as an alternate individual or position who you can report discrimination or harassment to
-  Include information advising workers to document any incidents involving unlawful discrimination and sexual assault.

2. If you are discriminated against at work, you now have up to five years to file a complaint or lawsuit if the incident(s) happened on or after September 29, 2019.

3. It is illegal for employers to require workers to enter into a nondisclosure agreement that would stop you from disclosing or discussing discriminatory conduct prohibited by ORS 659A.030, 659A.082, and 659A.112. This includes employees and potential employees and cannot be required as a condition of employment, continued employment, promotion, compensation, or receipt of benefits.

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