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JULY 2019

 

In This Issue:

Oregon's Expression of Milk in the Workplace (Nursing Mothers) Law Expands

By Caitlin Egeck, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

On May 17, 2019, HB 2593, the Oregon bill regarding the expression of milk in the workplace, was signed into law. HB 2593 expands and amends Oregon’s current lactation in the workplace law.

As you may already know, current law requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide nursing mothers with a 30-minute unpaid rest period to express milk for each four hours worked, or the major part of a four-hour work period. HB 2593 amends the length of these lactation breaks and what employers are covered under this law.

HB 2593 requires all employers, regardless of size, to provide nursing mothers with “a reasonable rest period to express milk each time the employee has a need to express milk.” This verbiage allows nursing mothers to take unpaid lactation breaks “as needed.” While these rest breaks are unpaid, there is an exception if a nonexempt employee takes their lactation break during a paid rest period. Moreover, while HB 2593 applies to all Oregon employers, there is an undue hardship exception for employers with 10 or fewer employees.

In line with ORS 657.077, HB 2593 continues to allow nursing mothers to take lactation breaks up until the employee’s child is 18 months old. Additionally, an employer still needs to make "reasonable" efforts to provide a private location that is in close proximity to the employee's workspace to express milk and the location cannot be a public restroom or toilet stall.

"Reasonable efforts" as defined under Oregon law means "efforts that do not impose an undue hardship on the operation of an employer’s business." Moreover, Oregon law defines "Undue Hardship" as "significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature or structure of the employer’s business." It should be noted that the “reasonable” efforts provision to provide a private location is applicable to Oregon employers with 50 or fewer employees under federal law, employers with 50 or more employees must provide a private location regardless of any undue hardship that it may create.

HB 2593 will likely take effect on October 1, 2019.

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New Oregon Law Expands Discrimination Protections

By Caitlin Egeck, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

On June 12, 2019, SB 726, a bill expanding what constitutes unlawful employment discrimination, was signed into law.

Effective October 1, 2020, under SB 726, it will be considered an unlawful employment practice for an employer to enter into an agreement, such as a nondisclosure or nondisparagement agreement, with an employee or prospective employee, as a condition of employment, continued employment, promotion, compensation, or receipt of benefits, which would prevent an employee from disclosing or discussing conduct that constitutes unlawful discrimination under ORS 659A.030, ORS 659A.082, and ORS 659A.112, including sexual assault. SB 726 also requires that the nondisparagement or nondisclosure agreement provide the employee with a minimum of seven days to revoke the executed agreement and the agreement will not become effective until after the revocation period has expired.

Additionally, employers will need to adopt a written policy that contains specific procedures and practices to reduce and prevent unlawful employment discrimination. The policy must be available to all workplace employees at the time of hire and must be provided to an employee at the time the employee discloses information regarding prohibited discrimination or harassment.

At the very least the policy must include:

  • A process for an employee to report prohibited conduct;
  • The identity of the individual designated by the employer who is responsible for receiving reports of prohibited conduct, including an individual designated as an alternate to receive such reports;
  • The statute of limitations period applicable to an employee’s right of action for alleging unlawful conduct;
  • A statement that the employer may not require or coerce an employee to enter into a nondisclosure or nondisparagement agreement, including a description of the meaning of those terms;
  • An explanation that an employee claiming to be aggrieved by the prohibited conduct may voluntarily request to enter into the agreement, including a statement that explains that the employee has at least seven days to revoke the agreement; and
  • A statement that advises employers and employees to document any incidents involving the prohibited conduct.

Moreover, the current statute of limitations for filing an employment discrimination complaint either civilly or through the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) is one year. SB 726 extends the statute of limitations for those claims to five years after the occurrence of the alleged illegal employment conduct. The new five year statute of limitations will apply to unlawful employment conduct that occurs on or after the effective date of the law, which will likely be October 1, 2019.

Cascade will keep you updated on this new law and many others. If you have any questions, let us know!

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Six Things You May Not Know About Willamette Humane Society –
Featured Member

Willamette Humane Society logoBy Gayle Gilham, President
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Whoever coined the phrase “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” obviously knew something about the power of human determination, and perhaps knew the “founding mothers” of Willamette Humane Society. Did you know....

  1. Willamette Humane Society (WHS) was founded in 1965 by Jessie Mickelson, Eleanor Gordon-Thompson and Jeanne Beardsley. These local civic leaders drew inspiration from the rundown, undersized and outdated shelter facility which was the Marion County Dog Pound at the time. They had the heart and the will to organize a group in Salem for the purpose of protecting and promoting the welfare of animals.

  2. WHS office foster dog

    After extensive fundraising efforts, the fledgling organization finally raised enough funds in 1969 to begin construction of a modest facility containing only 20 dog, and 25 cat kennels. The shelter was open for business less than five months after purchasing the grounds.

  3. Every month within the first year of operation, the facility took in an average of 1,500 animals. In July of 1972, phase two of the construction began, doubling the capacity and adding dog runs as well as separate puppy and kitten rooms. And still, need outpaced capacity. In 1995, the current building opened, housing 65 dog and 142 cat kennels, and adding more inviting public areas for adoptions and pet meets.

  4. Fast forward to 2010 when the dream of opening a state-of-the art low cost, high volume spay/neuter clinic came true. Finally able to effectively address pet overpopulation in the community, WHS now provides free surgeries for unowned community cats in Marion and Polk counties, in addition to spay and neuter services for companion cats and dogs. This year, the clinic will perform its 50,000th surgery!

  5. Today’s Humane Society is a far cry from its 60’s era counterpart. Because of community support, the staff and volunteers are now able to treat, rehabilitate, and rehome over 96% of the pets who arrive needing help. Animals with special needs stay as long as necessary while being treated for medical and behavioral conditions, and this means the shelter is again beginning to push the limits of its capacity for care and in the near future will be exploring remodeling to modernize operations.

  6. In the nearly 50 years since the original idea for a shelter for Willamette Valley’s pets in need was born, one thing has remained the same: heart. And as long as the heart beats strong for their animals, WHS will be here protecting and promoting their welfare.

Cascade is proud to feature WHS, an organization dedicated to establishing, maintaining and enhancing the bond between companion animals and the people of Marion and Polk counties.

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Hot Compliance Question

By Caitlin Egeck, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Question: We recently posted a job opening for a full-time position. Numerous candidates applied to this job and we ended up interviewing a lot of them. One candidate stood out from all of the rest, but this candidate only wanted a part-time position. Upon reviewing the job description, it appears possible for this candidate to complete the job requirements in the time frame that they requested. Are we allowed to change the position to part-time after a full-time position had already been advertised?

Answer: Yes. Sometimes an applicant can provide a new perspective on how to complete the job. Moreover, the needs of the organization can shift in the midst of the hiring process.

When modifying a posted job description, the most important thing is to ensure that your hiring decision is based upon the requirements of the job itself. If the full or part-time schedule is not critical to completion of the job, it is permissible to make a change to the schedule requirement. Additionally, keeping the focus on job-relatedness helps keep your job modification compliant by safeguarding against the use of protected classes, such as gender or race, in making your decision.

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HR Stats You Should Know

By Jenna Reed, Vice President, HR Services and General Counsel
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

1,700. That’s the number of organizations represented in Cascade’s National Executive Compensation Survey that was recently published.

The survey report includes salary, bonus and benefits data for 48 executive level jobs (more than 10,000 executives) in the manufacturing and service industries, with breakout categories for employment size, industry, sales volume, and geographic area.

As a Cascade member, when you submit your executive pay data to the Oregon Regional Pay Survey, you receive a copy of the National Executive Compensation Survey report at a deep discount off our standard prices. If you’re in need of this information, it is now available for purchase.

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EEO-1 Pay Data Portal to Open Mid-July

By Jenna Reed, Vice President, HR Services and General Counsel
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

As we previously alerted you, employers that have 100 or more employees and most federal contractors with 50 or more employees are now required to submit pay data in addition to race, ethnicity and sex data through an EEO-1 Report annually. As a reminder, Component 2 of the EEO-1 (pay data) must be submitted no later than September 30, 2019 and must include pay information for both 2017 and 2018.

According to the EEOC’s latest announcement, it expects the reporting tool for Component 2 to be available to employers by July 15. Once live, employers can use a portal to upload their data. Please note that this portal is not currently live.

As of July 1, the EEOC has additional employer materials and FAQs available.

Cascade will continue to monitor and update you on EEO-1 Pay Data news. If you have any questions, please let us know!

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