By Trüpp

Maintaining pay equity is crucial for ensuring a fair and inclusive workplace. Pay equity not only fosters a sense of transparency and equality among employees but also enhances overall organizational performance and reputation. In addition to posting pay equity notices in each worksite,  Oregon’s equal pay laws require a specific set of standards to be upheld by Oregon employers. Here’s a breakdown of the key points to keep in mind.

1. Equal pay for equal work

Regardless of background, employees must receive equal compensation for performing equal or comparable work. This includes salaries, bonuses, benefits, and other forms of compensation.

2. Prohibition of discrimination

It’s illegal for employers to pay an employee less than others based on protected factors such as race, gender, religion, age, or any other protected characteristic. Employers cannot reduce an employee’s pay to match that of others.

3. Factors for pay differences

Any differences in pay for those who perform similar work, must be justified by bona fide factors such as seniority, merit, productivity, education, or experience. Employers must have a transparent and consistent system for determining pay factors.

4. Hiring practices

Employers cannot inquire about an applicant’s salary history or base compensation decisions on past pay. This ensures fair treatment and prevents the perpetuation of unequal pay.

5. Legal protections

Employees who believe they have been subjected to unfair compensation practices can file complaints with the appropriate authorities or take legal action. Employees are protected from retaliation for raising concerns about pay equity or participating in related investigations.

6. Periodic review

Assessing pay practices, at a minimum every three years, allows employers to identify and rectify any inequities. This proactive approach can mitigate potential legal risks and help employers avoid certain damages.

Upholding pay equity is not only a legal requirement but also provides organizations with a strategic advantage, creating a more productive and engaged workforce. By adhering to these guidelines and promoting a culture of fairness and transparency, employers play a pivotal role in fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace environment.

Get your compensation practices aligned