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Oregon Bans Criminal-Record Questions for Applicants

Oregon enacted a measure to “ban the box” by prohibiting employers from asking a job applicant about any criminal convictions on an employment application or before an initial interview.

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Beginning January 1, 2016, employers in Oregon will have to save their questions about candidates’ criminal records until the job interview.

Although Oregon’s new ban the box law (HB 3025) makes it illegal to use job applications or other pre-interview screening tools to eliminate candidates based on criminal records, the law allows employers to ask questions about criminal convictions during interviews, a time when the applicant can offer an explanation.

The law includes exemptions for employers who are subject to federal, state or local laws that require the consideration of an applicant’s criminal history, for example in law enforcement or a criminal justice agency, applications can ask about the applicant’s criminal background.

Statewide enactments of Ban the Box were made in Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The cities of Seattle, Washington; Buffalo, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Newark, New Jersey have all enacted some form of Ban the Box legislation as well.

Oregon Ban the Box Posting Requirement

GovDocs Compliance Research Counsel, Anne Jakala, Esq., said the law will require monitoring for a posting requirement.

“Other States and Cities with similar ban the box laws also have corresponding postings that employers must display. However, the Oregon legislation does not have an explicit requirement for posting a workplace notice. GovDocs will clarify with the State.” – Anne Jakala, Esq.

For more information on Ban the Box, check here.

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Oregon: New State and City Paid Sick Leave Laws

Employers in Oregon need to know about a new statewide Paid Sick Leave law and its effect on similar measures in Portland and Eugene.

The State of Oregon enacted a Paid Sick Leave law that takes effect January 1, 2016, and it may trump similar laws at the municipal level in Oregon.

  • Portland already has a similar law in effect – the Portland Protected Sick Time Ordinance. The new Oregon State law will incorporate Portland’s rules into it by carving out exceptions for cities with over 500,000 in population. Portland’s notice is applicable until January 1, 2016. After January 1, it is believed that the State law requirements will be applicable and the Portland rules & posting will be repealed.
  • Eugene had passed a city Paid Sick Leave ordinance that was set to be in effect on July 1, 2015, however the State bill explicitly preempts all local governments’ sick leave requirements and Eugene’s ordinance will be repealed.

Oregon Paid Sick Leave Posting Requirements

The law requires a written notice to be provided to employees regarding the requirements of the new Oregon Paid Sick Leave law. However, GovDocs Compliance Research Counsel, Anne Jakala, Esq. said there is no language explicitly defining whether that notice must be posted or provided in person.

“We anticipate the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is expected to provide a template notice, but GovDocs will continue to monitor the Bureau of Labor and Industries for the release of any further clarification regarding this law.” Anne Jakala, Esq.

U.S. City Posting Requirements

More than 40 municipal governments in the U.S. have issued notices that employers must display in workplaces – and the trend is increasing. Cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Albuquerque, and Philadelphia have all issued ordinances that affect workers in those cities with corresponding labor law postings.

GovDocs provides ongoing labor law posting compliance coverage for North America’s largest employers. Under our Update Program, employers receive the latest Federal, State, and City required postings automatically and at no extra charge. This takes the guesswork out of posting compliance for large companies with locations in multiple cities and states.