Employees Now Have a Rebuttable Presumption of Retaliation
Updated: Jul 7, 2021
Employees terminated within 60 days after complaining about health and safety issues in the workplace now have a rebuttable presumption of retaliation against their employer.
Signed by Governor Brown on June 15, 2021, Senate Bill (SB) 483 amends the Oregon Safe Employment Act (Act) increasing protections for whistleblowers of unsafe health or safety conditions. The Act already makes an unlawful employment practice for any person to bar or discharge or otherwise discriminate against any employee or prospective employee because the employee complained about health or safety issues in the workplace. Oregon Revised Statute 654.062. SB 483 amends the Act by creating a rebuttable presumption of discrimination or retaliation where the employer bars, retaliates, or discriminates against the employee or prospective employee within 60 days after the employee has complained about any violation of law, regulation, or standard pertaining to safety and health in the workplace. The amendments further clarify that an employer can rebut the presumption by demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that it did not retaliate or otherwise discriminate against the employee or prospective employee. The amendments took effect immediately.