This two part 2014 legislative update will look at new and changing laws as well as general trends on the local, state and federal levels.
Effective January 1, 2014 sick pay leave changes came into effect for Portland OR. The key is that it applies to employees that physically work in Portland. Accrual rate is one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked- capped at 40 hours. If you already have a PTO or sick leave policy that meets these definitions then you are covered.
Why is that important outside of Portland?
We’ve heard rumblings that Eugene and Corvallis may follow in Portland’s footsteps with their own versions of paid sick leave. Establishments with multiple locations across the state will soon have to comply with multiple variations of the law unless the legislature passes a statewide policy. Therefore, there soon may come a time when a statewide policy becomes imminent.
- Veteran’s Day – Employers are required to let veterans with honorable discharge take the day off so long as accommodation does not severely disrupts the employer. The day off is not required to be paid, 21 days notice needed.
- Interns (unpaid) – Title IIV protections for interns during the “hiring” process.
- Title IV protections include race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
- You cannot “hire” an unpaid intern. Even though unpaid interns are not employees they are protected like an employee in the selection process.
- Since unpaid interns are not employees things like Workers’ Compensation do not apply as they are volunteers.
- OSHA has vague rules about remuneration. If they are getting a benefit then they transition to being an employee. Free lunch for your interns could be all it takes.
- Required Posting – New addition of the Domestic Violence Poster. Notice that the employer has to provide leave for those that are domestic violence victims or being stalked. Request your free poster from Cardinal.
Effective May 16, 2013 employers may no longer ask for social media user names and passwords nor require you to “friend” them on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Please note that this does not apply to generally accessible online content.
STATE MINIMUM WAGE
Oregon and Washington state minimum wages rose effective January 1, 2014. These two states currently have the two highest minimum wages in the nation. This year Oregon is paying $9.10 per hour and Washington is at $9.32 per hour.
When you process a lot of payroll, inevitably a check may get lost in the mail, delayed by a day, or whatever other delays that can happen, happens. Direct deposit eliminates many of these problems. Gone are the days of trying to talk employees into enrolling for direct deposit.
New rules allow employers to set direct deposit as the default payment option. No need to mention that a paper check is an option, however employees can ask for a paper check and employers must comply.
- Pay stub requirements remain intact. Right now you have to provide a paper version of pay and any deductions unless the employee opts into an electronic version.
- Bereavement. OFLA allows two weeks for bereavement leave for family members. The definition of family can vary so if you have an employee request leave you should investigate further as to what constitutes a family member.
More 2014 Legislative updates coming soon!!
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