Oregon Termination (with Discharge) laws & HR compliance analysis

Oregon Termination (with Discharge): What you need to know

Oregon is an “employment-at-will” state. This means that either the employer or employee may end the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, unless a law or contract provides to the contrary. Nevertheless, a number of Oregon statutes and court decisions have established important exceptions to the doctrine of employment at will.
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As a general rule, if a federal, state, or local law grants employees the right to engage in an activity or to enjoy a benefit, employees should never be disciplined, discharged, or otherwise retaliated against for requesting or attempting to do so.
To list a few key examples, state law prohibits employers from discharging employees for engaging in the following activities:
Elected officials. An employer may not discharge or threaten to discharge any employee because of his or her service or scheduled service as a member or potential member of the state Legislative Assembly (OR Rev. Stat. Sec. 171.120).
Equal pay. 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 Oregon's equal pay law (OR Rev. Stat. Sec. 652.220).
Garnishment. An employer may not discipline, discharge, or refuse to hire a person because his or her wages have been garnished for support. In addition, employers may not discharge a person because of a garnishment for consumer debt (OR Stat. Sec. 25.424; Sec. 18.385).
Health and safety. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee for opposing any practice forbidden by the Oregon Safe Employment Act or for making a complaint, instituting a proceeding, testifying, or ...

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