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Oregon Equal Pay Act Exclusions Have Expired

As of September 28, 2022 amendments to Oregon’s Equal Pay Act which permitted employers to exclude hiring and retention bonuses from the definition of compensation have expired. This now means that in order for employers to be fully compliant with the state’s equal pay law these items can no longer account for differences in pay.

Under state law, every worker must get equal pay for equal work regardless of their gender, race, age or other protected characteristics. Employers must pay employees the same amount as other people doing comparable work including wages, bonuses and benefits. The law also prohibits employers from giving someone a pay cut to make their pay equal with other employees.

The law has limited circumstances where different pay may be allowed, but these differences must be based on specific bona fide factors including one or more of the following:

  • A seniority system;
  • A merit system;
  • A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, including piece-rate work;
  • Workplace location;
  • Travel;
  • Education/training; or
  • Experience.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should also be mindful of the requirements under the law related to hiring and non-discrimination including, but not limited to, making salary history inquiries and discriminating against employees because they make a complaint or are testifying in any investigation related to pay equity law.

Employers are encouraged to review and update their compensation structures as needed to comply with all the other requirements under state law. Best practice is to consider conducting a pay equity audit to determine if any pay disparities exist that are not attributable to bona fide factors.

How HR Works Can Help

HR Works offers pay equity analysis services that includes a review of compensation practices, creating appropriate pay groups, performing regression analysis, identifying irregularities, providing recommendations for adjustments, and producing final results report. To learn more contact us at 1-877-219-9062.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.