Unlawful Discrimination in Employment, Public Accommodations and Real Property Transactions

ORS 659A.203
Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer

  • remedies


Subject to ORS 659A.206 (Effects of ORS 659A.200 to 659A.224 on employees), except as provided in ORS 659A.200 (Definitions for ORS 659A.200 to 659A.224) to 659A.224 (Short title), it is an unlawful employment practice for any public or nonprofit employer to:


Prohibit any employee from discussing, either specifically or generally with any member of the Legislative Assembly, legislative committee staff acting under the direction of a member of the Legislative Assembly, any member of the elected governing body of a political subdivision in the state or any elected auditor of a city, county or metropolitan service district, the activities of:


The state or any agency of or political subdivision in the state; or


Any person authorized to act on behalf of the state or any agency of or political subdivision in the state.


Prohibit any employee from disclosing, or take or threaten to take disciplinary action against an employee for the disclosure of any information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of:


A violation of any federal, state or local law, rule or regulation by the public or nonprofit employer;


Mismanagement, gross waste of funds or abuse of authority or substantial and specific danger to public health and safety resulting from action of the public or nonprofit employer; or


Subject to ORS 659A.212 (Policy on cooperation with law enforcement officials) (2), the fact that a person receiving services, benefits or assistance from the state or agency or subdivision, is subject to a felony or misdemeanor warrant for arrest issued by this state, any other state, the federal government, or any territory, commonwealth or governmental instrumentality of the United States.


Require any employee to give notice prior to making any disclosure or engaging in discussion described in this section, except as allowed in ORS 659A.206 (Effects of ORS 659A.200 to 659A.224 on employees) (1).


Discourage, restrain, dissuade, coerce, prevent or otherwise interfere with disclosure or discussions described in this section.


A public or nonprofit employer may not invoke or impose any disciplinary action against an employee for employee activity described in subsection (1) of this section or ORS 659A.212 (Policy on cooperation with law enforcement officials).


The remedies provided by this section are in addition to any remedy provided to an employee under ORS 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer) or other remedy that may be available to an employee for the conduct alleged as a violation of this section.


A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor. [Formerly 659.510; 2010 c.24 §1; 2016 c.73 §4]
§§ 659A.250 to 659A.262

(formerly 659.280 to 659.290)

Law Review Citations

26 WLR 394-395 (1990)

Notes of Decisions

"Disclosure" of information includes report of wrongdoing that is circulated solely within agency or department. Bjurstrom v. Oregon Lottery, 202 Or App 162, 120 P3d 1235 (2005)

"Mismanagement" means serious agency misconduct having the effect of actually or potentially undermining ability of agency to fulfill its public mission. Bjurstrom v. Oregon Lottery, 202 Or App 162, 120 P3d 1235 (2005)

Where plaintiff, labor relations director and affirmative action officer employed by defendant community college, reported violations of federal and state laws and internal policies and procedures as well as misuse of funds, this section applies to plaintiff because section is not limited to providing less protection to employee whose job may involve regularly reporting on matters within scope of this section than to other employees. Harper v. Mt. Hood Community College, 283 Or App 207, 388 P3d 1170 (2016)

Employee's reports to another employee of unlawfulness of that other employee's conduct without threatening to reveal that conduct to anyone else does not constitute "disclosure" under this section and therefore is not protected activity. Lindsey v. Clatskanie People's Utility District, 140 F. Supp. 3d 1077 (D. Or. 2015)

§§ 659A.150 to 659A.186

Notes of Decisions

Termination of employment in retaliation for invoking Oregon Family Leave Act rights constitutes wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. Yeager v. Providence Health System Oregon, 195 Or App 134, 96 P3d 862 (2004), Sup Ct review denied


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021