Changes Coming to Oregon’s Workplace Fairness Act January 1, 2023
The Oregon legislature made several changes and key clarifications to the Workplace Fairness Act during the 2022 legislative session. The law currently restricts employers from, among other things, requesting confidentiality, non-disparagement and no-rehire provisions in agreements with employees where the provisions would prevent employees from disclosing conduct constituting discrimination under certain statutes. Employers are permitted to agree to the inclusion of those provisions in such agreements, however, if they are requested by the employee.
Beginning January 1, 2023, the following amendments will apply to agreements entered into on or after that date:
- The law will apply to agreements with former employees, not just current or prospective employees.
- The law clarifies that the prohibitions extend to language in an agreement that prevents the disclosure of the amount of or fact of any settlement.
- Employers may not condition a settlement offer on an employee’s request to include a confidentiality, non-disparagement or no-rehire provision in the agreement.
- Employers must provide employees a copy of the employer’s anti-discrimination policy, described in ORS 659A.375, if the employer wishes to enter into an agreement with the employee.
- In mediation, if an employee or employer is not represented by an attorney, the mediator must provide that party a copy of the model procedures and policies made available by the Bureau of Labor and Industries under ORS 659A.375.
- Employers may still enforce a nondisclosure, non-disparagement or no-rehire agreement that is unrelated to alleged conduct that constitutes discrimination under ORS 659A.030, 659A.082, or 659A.112.
- The prohibited provisions, if included in an agreement, are void and unenforceable.
- An employee may now recover a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for violations of the law.
Employer Next Steps
Employers should ensure that they are in compliance with these new requirements by carefully reviewing any non-disclosure, non-disparagement, or no-rehire clauses in their settlement, separation and severance agreements with employees. Employers may also want to consult legal counsel before entering into a any new agreement with an employee. If you have any questions about the Workplace Fairness Act or the changes coming in January 2023, please contact me at or 503-595-6925.
Posted by Randi Ensley.