Effective Dates

  • Prohibited from asking salary history: October 6,2017
  • Pay Equity enforcement by BOLI: January 1, 2019
  • Pay Equity wage claim: January 1, 2019
  • Individual and class action
  • Anti-retaliation claim: January 1, 2019
  • Notice requirements: January 1, 2019
  • Private right of action (salary history): January 1, 2024








It is an unlawful employment practice to…

— pay one employee more wages than another employee for work of comparable character.

Who is subject to this new law?

All Oregon Employers (Federal Government excluded)

Employers with 2 or more employees

All Oregon Employees:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (gender)
  • Sexual orientation (LGBT or perception)
  • National origin
  • Marital status
  • Veteran status
  • Disability
  • Age









Comparable Character Work

Comparable character = “work that is substantially similar in knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility and work conditions…”

Compensation Definition

All compensation

  • Salary
  • Bonuses
  • Fringe Benefits (car, meals, clubs, etc)
  • Equity-Based compensation
  • Etc.










Failure to comply = “Unpaid Wages”

  • Two years of Back Pay
    • One (1) year statute of limitations
      • Starts over again each time compensation paid!
  • Penalty Wages
  • Compensatory damages (emotional distress)
  • Punitive damages (fraud, willful, multiple violations, etc.)
  • Attorney fees







Permissible objective reasons for wage discrepancies

Only Exceptions:

  • Seniority system
  • Merit system
  • System that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production
  • Workplace location
  • Travel
  • Education
  • Training
  • Experience
  • Any combination of factors



You must be able to explain the entire compensation differential.


Safe Harbor: Review & Analysis

Employer may avoid some penalties if employer completed an equal pay analysis within prior three (3) years

Note: During review and analysis, an employer cannot eliminate wage differences by reducing the compensation level of an employee!!!






Pay Equity Act

Most important take away points:

  • Employers should implement a consistent system for wage assignment and wage increases.
  • Employers should identify wage discrepancies between two employees with comparable character work.
  • Employers should resolve wage discrepancies that are not objectively supported by permissible, objective reasons.
  • Employers should reevaluate positions and employees (i.e., perform a pay equity analysis) at least every 3 years.