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Oregon Extends Vaccine Incentives, Hiring Bonuses

The Great Resignation, COVID-19, and pay equity continue to converge in Oregon, but the end is in sight—for better or worse.

In 2021, Oregon amended its pay equity law to exclude vaccine incentives and hiring and retention bonuses from the definition of “compensation.” This exclusion—intended to address employee retention and hiring during a period of great instability—allowed Oregon employers to provide those types of incentives to employees without running afoul of the pay equity law.

In early March 2022, the Oregon legislature sought to extend that exclusion until 180 days after Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown terminated the COVID-19 emergency declaration signed into law in 2020. Governor Brown signed the extension of the pay equity exclusion just two days shy of terminating the COVID-19 emergency declaration on March 17, 2022, which termination became effective on April 1, 2022.

For those wishing to avoid getting their Outlook calendars out, Oregon employers can continue to provide vaccine incentives and hiring or retention bonuses, in line with the extension, until September 28, 2022.

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