Oregon Equal Pay/Comparable Worth laws & HR compliance analysis

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.
Effective January 1, 2019, the Law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on a protected class in the payment of wages or other compensation for work of comparable character. It is a violation of the Law for an employer to pay wages or other compensation to any employee at a higher rate than it pays employees of a protected class for work of comparable character (OR Rev. Stat. Sec. 652.220).
The term “protected class” is defined as a group of persons distinguished by race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, or age (OR Rev. Stat. Sec. 652.210).
The only permissible reasons for pay differentials are:
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• Seniority systems;
• Merit systems;
• A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, including piece-rate work;
• Travel, if travel is necessary and regular for the employee;
• Education;
• Training;
• Experience;
• Workplace locations; and
• Any combination of the factors described, if the combination of factors accounts for the entire compensation differential.
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 Law. Effective January 1, 2019, employers may not reduce the compensation of an employee to comply with the Law.
Pay history inquiries. Effective January 1, 2019, the Law prohibits an employer from screening job applicants based on their current or past compensation (OR Rev. ...

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