2021 Oregon Legislative Session Overview
The Oregon Legislative Assembly’s current session ended on Saturday, June 26, 2021, with several bills creating notable changes for Oregon employers. The following is a list of the relevant bills that have been signed into law by the Governor.
HB 3389 – Changes to Unemployment Taxes
Employers in good standing with a rate increase of 0.5% or more may defer up to one-third of their 2021 tax obligation without accruing interest or penalties until June 30, 2022. Additionally, 2021 and 2022 are not included in the lookback period and the experience rating used to determine 2020 tax rate will be used in 2022, 2023, and 2024. Pending the governor’s signature, this law takes effect on September 26, 2021.
SB 569 – Driver’s License as Condition of Employment
Prohibits an employer from requiring an employee or prospective employee to present a valid driver’s license as a condition of employment unless the ability to legally drive is an essential function of the position or is related to a legitimate business purpose. This law takes effect on January 1, 2022.
SB 169 – Noncompetition Agreements
This new law changes the length of time a noncompetition is valid, as well as some of the qualifying criteria for the employer, employee, and the contract itself. This law takes effect on January 1, 2022.
HB 2474 – Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) Amendments
- Allows employees who have a break in service due to termination or temporary furlough or layoff of 180 days or less to retain their OFLA eligibility and count time prior to break in service to overall break in service.
- Expands eligibility of OFLA during a public health emergency to employees working at least 30 days immediately prior to taking leave (reduced from 180 days) and an average of 25 hours or more per week during those 30 days.
- Expands the definition of sick child leave to include providing home care to the employee’s child due to the closure of the child’s school or child care provider as a result of a public health emergency and allows for certain employer verification.
- Clarifies that pregnancy disability leave may be taken by “an eligible employee” rather than “a female eligible employee.” These changes take effect on January 1, 2022.
HB 3389 – Delayed Implementation of Oregon’s Paid Family Leave Program
The deadline for the Employment Department Director to adopt rules for Oregon’s Paid Family Medical Leave Program (OPFMLP) is moved from September 1, 2021, to September 1, 2022. As a result of this change, subsequent dates relating to progress reports and reviews of implementation and costs have been pushed back accordingly. Pending the governor’s signature, this law takes effect September 26, 2022.