As of January 1, 2018, prospective contractors must comply with new requirements if they wish to contract with Oregon state agencies. For contracts valued at $150,000 or more, contractors must certify in writing that they have a policy and practice of preventing sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination against employees who are members of a protected class. Protected classes identified in the statute include race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender (including actual or perceived gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, and religion.
The law sets forth specific terms that must be included in a contractor’s policy, including:
- a regular procedure for submitting a report of harassment, sexual assault or discrimination that identifies the specific individual to whom an employee may submit the report;
- a prohibition against retaliation; and
- a prohibition against discrimination in providing benefits to an employee or one of their dependents based on membership in a protected class.
Employers who provide health insurance or health care benefits also are required to include a prohibition on denying benefits to an employee or one of their dependents based solely on the employee or dependent’s gender identity.
All applicable contracts entered into after January 1, 2018 must include a provision that addresses the certification obligation, including that the contractor maintain its policy and practice in force during the entire contract term.
The law exempts some limited categories of contracts from the certification obligation. However, public contractors should review their current policies and practices to ensure they meet the law’s minimum requirements. The Department of Administrative Services has developed templates to assist contractors. They may be found at: http://www.oregon.gov/das/Procurement/Pages/hb3060.aspx