To give employers time to meet the requirements set by the Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017, most of the new law’s provisions are not effective until January 1, 2019. However, one major part of the law becomes effective quite soon, on October 6, 2017.
For background on this law, which Governor Kate Brown signed in June, read our June 7th introduction on it here. You can also learn what this law actually means for employers—and how you can use it to your advantage—from our August 16th post here.
Use this to-do list to ensure your company is ready for the new provisions before October 6th.
Update Employment Applications
Effective October 6, 2017, the Oregon Equal Pay Act prohibits employers in Oregon from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history before extending an offer of employment. In accordance with the Act, we recommend removing salary history questions from your employment applications. Do this prior to October 6th to ensure compliance.
Note that the law does not prevent an employer from considering a current employee’s compensation during a transfer, move, or hire of the employee to a new position within the same company. Also, companies with locations outside of Oregon can continue to use employment applications that include questions about salary history for those other locations. Just be sure to maintain two versions of your employment applications—one without salary history questions and one with them—to use in Oregon and outside of Oregon, respectively.
Update Interview Questions
Before October 6th, be sure to update your interview questions as well to eliminate any queries on compensation history, and notify your management team and anyone who conducts interviews about the new law. If your company also has locations outside of Oregon, these questions can remain for job candidates at those locations. Applicants for jobs in Oregon, however, should not be asked about past salary at any point in the interview process before they are offered employment.
While civil actions against employers who request salary history are not permitted under the law until January 1, 2024, the October 6th deadline should not be ignored.
BOLI enforcement of this provision officially begins January 1, 2019.