Oregon Whistleblower Laws

Most of us enjoy our jobs, and expect that our employers are acting ethically, responsibly, and especially legally. But what if we find out that’s not the case? Do we report on company misconduct and risk getting reprimanded or fired? Fortunately for us, the Beaver State has laws in place protect employees who report fraud or illegal conduct in the workplace. This is a brief overview of “whistleblower” laws in Oregon.

Whistleblower Laws

State "whistleblower" laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who report illegal, dangerous, or otherwise unethical business practices. The statutes are designed to protect employees from demotion or firing if they come forward with important information.

Oregon Whistle Blower Statutes

The details of Oregon's whistleblower statutes are listed in the chart below.

Code Section

Oregon Revised Statutes 659A.200 et seq.: Whistleblowing

Prohibited Employer Activity

A public employer can not discriminate, dismiss, demote, transfer, reassign, or take other disciplinary action if employee responds to official request to disclose or threatens to disclose a violation of federal or state law, rule or regulation, mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or substantial and specific danger to public health and safety or the fact that a recipient of state funds is subject to a felony or misdemeanor or warrant for arrest

Protection for Public or Private Employees?

Public in all contexts;

Private if reporting a crime (695A.199)

Opportunity for Employer to Correct?

-

Remedies

Can file civil action within 90 days of disciplinary action for injunction or monetary damages

Penalties

-

Code Section

Oregon Revised Statutes 654.062: Notice of Violation to Employer by Worker

Prohibited Employer Activity

Can not bar, discharge, or otherwise discriminate if employee or prospective employee or representative of employee opposes, makes a complaint, institutes a proceeding or testifies about a violation of law, regulation or standard pertaining to safety and health

Protection for Public or Private Employees?

Both

Opportunity for Employer to Correct?

-

Remedies

Can file complaint with commissioner of the Bureau of Labor & Industries within 30 days of violation for reinstatement and back pay as well as other appropriate relief. Can also file civil action

Penalties

-

Compared with some other states, Oregon has extensive whistleblower laws covering a variety of situations. In addition to state protections, the federal government has safeguards as well. The False Claims Act allows whistleblowers who believe their company has defrauded the government to file what are known as “qui tam actions” reporting the fraud and remain safe from employer retaliation. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 also protects whistleblowers in cases of securities, shareholder, and other kinds of fraud.

Oregon Whistleblower Laws: Related Resources

Understanding state and federal employment law can be a challenge. You can find more information and resources in FindLaw’s section on Employment Law. You can also contact an Oregon whistleblower attorney if you would like legal advice regarding a corporate malfeasance or employment matter.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.