Oregon Equal Pay/Comparable Worth: What you need to know

The Oregon Equal Pay Law (OR Rev. Stat. Sec. 652.220) requires that men and women be paid equally for work of comparable character, the performance of which requires comparable skills. The only permissible reasons for pay differentials are:
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• Seniority systems
• Merit pay systems
• Other good-faith factors other than sex
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee for complaining about an equal pay violation or participating in the investigation or hearing of a complaint under the Equal Pay Law.
The Oregon Fair Employment Practice Act prohibits employers from discriminating in compensation or other terms and conditions of employment (OR Rev. Stat. Sec. 659A.030). Protected classes include race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age, and disability.
The Equal Pay Law and the Fair Employment Practice Act apply to all employers in the state; however, the sections pertaining to disability discrimination apply only to employers with six or more employees.
Under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, federal fair employment laws were amended so that each paycheck affected by an employer's prior discriminatory pay practice or decision constitutes an unlawful discriminatory act that triggers a new deadline for filing a pay discrimination claim. An employee alleging discrimination must be able to show that the paycheck or other compensation was affected by a discriminatory pay decision or practice of the employer.
The Oregon Equal Pay Law is enforced through the state courts. Employees are entitled to make complaints, either individually or as a class, for the difference between the wages paid to them and the ...

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