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). “Compensation” includes wages, bonuses, fringe benefits, and equity-based compensation (OR Admin. Rules Sec. 839-008-0100). It does not include tips or reimbursement for actual costs incurred by an employee.
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:
• 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;
• Workplace locations; and
• Any combination of the factors described if the combination of factors accounts for the entire compensation differential.
Work of comparable character. Regulations issued by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries state that “work of comparable character” includes substantially similar knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, with no single ...