Oregon Age Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Oregon Age Discrimination: What you need to know

The Oregon Fair Employment Practice Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age (18 years of age or older) (OR Rev. Stat. Sec. 659A.030 et seq.). The law’s state public policy is that an individual should be judged on his or her abilities and not on “arbitrary standards” that discriminate on the basis of age (OR Rev. Stat. Sec. 659A.009). The law applies to all public and private employers in the state. Under the state law, it is an unlawful employment practice to:
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• Refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate with respect to an individual's compensation or terms or conditions of employment.
• Retaliate against any individual who has made a complaint or assisted in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the state law.
• Publish an advertisement for employment indicating a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on age, unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• Discriminate against an individual because he or she associates with a person who is a member of a protected class.
• Harass an individual on the basis of age.
For job advertisements, employers should avoid any reference to age-related statements such as “young” applicants desired. In addition, application forms should not contain requests for age-related dates such as high school or college graduation dates. Instead, employers should concentrate on degrees earned or training received.
Federal law. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to all public employers, regardless of size (Guido v. Mount Lemmon Fire Dist., 859 F.3d 1168 (9th Cir. 2017)). Other circuit courts have held that public employers, ...

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