Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule Changes

rebecca watkinsBy: Rebecca Watkins

The proposed changes include a number of “housekeeping” items that simply update language or make it consistent throughout the rules, and to implement a reorganization of BOLI. Among more substantive changes, there are proposed rules pertaining to retaliation under the Oregon Safe Employment Act (division 4), discrimination by career schools (division 5), and whistleblowing for public employers (division 10).

Of wider interest to employers, BOLI proposes the following changes:

  1. Discrimination based on current employment status. Employers are prohibited from posting or advertising that a requirement of a job is current employment. The rule allows for civil penalties against employers or employment agencies violating the rule.
  1. Temporary impairments & disability. Proposed OAR 839-006-0240(1) states that impairment lasting or expected to last less than six months can be “substantially limiting” under Oregon disability laws.
  1. Family member under OFLA. Proposed changes to the definitions in OAR 839-009-0210 add “step-parent” as a family member. It also specifies that a “child,” for purposes of OFLA, can be a minor or adult for qualifying under sick child leave. “Spouse” has been expanded to include married persons, common law marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships or similar relationships with or without a marriage license or “solemnization” of the relationship.
  1. Injured workers. Proposed changes to OFLA rules state that an employee unable to work because of a disabling compensable injury does not have to “requalify” to use OFLA following a period the employee has been off work due to the injury. A proposed change to injured worker discrimination rules clarifies that counting time an injured worker is off work for the injury, either on time loss or certified by the attending physician as connected to the injury, cannot be counted against an employee as an absence.

BOLI will accept comments on these proposed rules until December 15, 2014. Go to BOLI’s website to review the rules: www.oregon.gov/boli/Pages/legal/H_Notices.aspx

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at: rwatkins@sbhlegal.com