Help with the challenges caused by COVID-19 expiring soon
Small-business owners who were able to take advantage of the exemptions to Oregon’s Equal Pay law should be aware the short-term help is coming to an end on September 28.
As explained by the Bullard Law firm, “In June 2021, the Oregon legislature, recognizing employers’ need for flexibility to address COVID-19 employment challenges, amended the Act to exempt vaccine incentives, hiring bonuses, and retention bonuses from the definition of ‘compensation.’ Earlier this year, Governor Brown extended the amendment, originally set to expire March 1, 2022, until “the 180th day following the expiration or termination of the declaration of a state of emergency.’
“Oregon’s state of emergency ended on April 1, 2022. This means the exception under the Oregon Equal Pay Act for vaccination/hiring/retention bonuses expires September 28, 2022. Employers who have been paying these bonuses should be aware that continuing to do so after September 28 may result in an inadvertent violation of the Act and lead to subsequent employee claims of unlawful discrimination.”