What is the Oregon Equal Pay Law?

In short, under the Oregon Equal Pay Law two employees should receive equitable pay for doing comparable jobs. The law has been in effect since October 6th 2017 and employers are expected to follow the law. On January 1st, 2019 any complaints filed to BOLI or the EEOC may result in fines.

The purpose of this law is to eliminate discrimination in wages and helps decrease the wage gap between men, women, people of color and more. It also helps to protect employees who may receive unequal pay based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability or age. Types of compensation includes wages, salary, bonuses, benefits, fringe benefits and equity-based compensation.


Practical Example:

John and Brenda are both System Engineers and both have a bachelor’s degree, seven years of experiences, and are identical in their qualifications. Under the Oregon Equal Pay Law, they must receive the same pay regardless of GENDER, RACE, ETHNICITY, or another protected class.

If Brenda also had a master’s degree that was directly related to her work, she may receive higher pay than John, if all else was equal.

As an employer, what should I keep in mind during the hiring and job offer process?

  • You should not ask applicants for current or past compensation.
  • You should already have determined the market compensation for a particular position without regard to an applicant’s previous salary.
  • You should consider your other employees in the same job to ensure you’re offering the applicant a similar wage for similar work.
  • And as always, you should not discriminate based on an applicant’s protected status of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability or age.

In some situations there may be compensation differences based on the following factors:

  • A seniority system
  • A merit system
  • A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, including piece-rate work
  • Workplace locations
  • Travel, if travel is necessary and regular for the employee
  • Education
  • Training
  • Experience
  • Or any combination of these factors, if the combination of factors accounts for the entire compensation differential.

Aliat can help employers be in compliance with Pay Equity

Aliat specializes in HR and Compliance for small and midsized businesses.

  • We can answer your questions about Pay Equity so you can communicate properly with employees.
  • We can ensure you have a compliant employee handbook.
  • We can help you document your compensation policy and ensure you’re in compliance.

As an employer in Oregon, now is the time to make adjustments in your compensation. We’re here to help.

Request a consultation with our HR Pros