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Oregon Provides Protections for Victims of Bias

Beginning January 1, 2024, Oregon’s victim protection law will include victims of bias. A victim of bias is the victim of a crime committed because of their perceived race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin—commonly called a hate crime.

Under the expanded law, all employers are prohibited from discriminating against an applicant or employee because they’re the victim of bias and must provide reasonable safety accommodations upon request (e.g., modifying their schedule, installing a lock, or changing a phone number).

Employers with six or more employees in Oregon must also provide an employee with reasonable leave if they or their minor child or dependent is a victim of bias and they need to seek legal or law enforcement assistance, counseling, medical treatment, or victim services, or if they need to relocate or secure an existing home. Both accommodations and the amount of leave can be limited if the employer can demonstrate that they would cause an undue hardship. Victim leave may be unpaid, though an employee may use any paid accrued vacation leave, sick leave, or other paid leave that is offered by the employer.

Employees Can Refuse Hazardous Work

Effective January 1, 2024, employers are prohibited from barring the employment of, discharging, or discriminating against an employee or applicant because they—in good faith and with no reasonable alternative—refuse to be exposed to serious injury or death stemming from a hazardous workplace condition.

New Hire Reporting Requirements for Independent Contractors

Effective January 1, 2024, employers—with employees or independent contractors working in the state—must file a report to the Oregon Division of Child Support:

  • The hiring or rehiring of employees; or
  • The engagement or re-engagement of independent contractors; and
  • When they reside or work in Oregon and the employer will be paying them for their work.

Under this amended law, an independent contractor is someone who must file a federal form W-9 and will be performing services for more than 20 days. Until this law takes effect, employers are not required to report independent contractors working for them—only employees.

The report must be submitted within 20 days after the independent contractor was initially engaged to work for the employer or re-engaged, which means they previously performed work for the employer but haven’t in the past 60 days.

HR Services Team
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