We wrote on employer compliance with Oregon’s 2017 Equal Pay Law in our Pay Equity alert and our article Equal Pay: 6 Key Questions. Generally, Oregon’s Equal Pay Law prohibits employees of a protected class who perform work of comparable character from being compensated unequally unless the entire compensation differential is based on a bona fide factor related to the position.
The final rules modify the definition of “work of comparable character” to mean: substantially similar knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions “with no single factor being determinative.” The fact that the rules now use bold-faced type on this phrase signals to employers that if an employer believes different groups of employees do not perform work of comparable character, an employer should be able to identify multiple factors from the list that distinguish the employees’ work or explain why one factor alone is strong enough to differentiate the roles.
The final rules also eliminate any guidance on performing an equal pay analysis. Instead, the rules revert to the statute’s only definition of what constitutes an equal pay analysis: “an evaluation process to assess and correct wage disparities among employees who perform work of comparable character.”
BOLI’s official statement published with these rules explains that because the equal pay analysis portion of the law is only applicable in a court setting to limit compensatory and punitive damages, BOLI has no rulemaking authority on the analyses. BOLI notes that the legislature was silent on how employers should conduct these analyses and “with no clear legislative intent and no jurisdiction to oversee these analyses, this was not an appropriate area for rulemaking by BOLI.”
For questions on how to prepare for the law’s January 1, 2019 enforcement date, contact Nicole Elgin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 276-2109 or Andrew Schpak at email@example.com or (503) 276-2156.
Electronic Alerts are written by Barran Liebman attorneys for their clients and friends. Alerts are not intended as legal advice, but as employment law, labor law, and employee benefits announcements. If this has been forwarded to you, and you would like to begin receiving Electronic Alerts directly, please email or call Traci Ray at 503-276-2115. Copyright ©2019 by Barran Liebman LLP.
Las Alertas electrónicas son escritas por abogados de Barran Liebman para sus clientes y amigos. Las Alertas no son proveídas como asesoramiento legal, sino solo como anuncios de leyes de empleo, leyes laborales y beneficios de empleo. Si esto ha sido remetido a usted y quisieras empezar a recibir las Alertas directamente, por favor mándanos un correo electrónico o llama a Traci Ray al 503-276-2115. Derechos de autor ©2019 por Barran Liebman LLP.