Oregon Unlawful Discrimination in Employment, Public Accommodations and Real Property Transactions; Administrative and Civil Enforcement
ORS 659A.885
Civil action


(1)

Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful practice specified in subsection (2) of this section may file a civil action in circuit court. In any action under this subsection, the court may order injunctive relief and any other equitable relief that may be appropriate, including but not limited to reinstatement or the hiring of employees with or without back pay. A court may order back pay in an action under this subsection only for the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of a complaint under ORS 659A.820 (Complaints) with the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, or if a complaint was not filed before the action was commenced, the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of the action. In any action under this subsection, the court may allow the prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal. Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section:

(a)

The judge shall determine the facts in an action under this subsection; and

(b)

Upon any appeal of a judgment in an action under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (3).

(2)

An action may be brought under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of:

(a)

ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors), 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 408.230 (Veterans’ preference in public employment), 408.237 (Interviews of veteran applicants for public service position required) (2), 475B.281 (Whistleblower protection for employees), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers), 652.020 (Maximum working hours in certain industries), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited), 653.263 (Overtime for persons employed by seafood processors), 653.265 (Overtime for persons employed in canneries, driers and packing plants), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 653.601 (Definitions for ORS 653.601 to 653.661) to 653.661 (Preemption), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.063 (State to continue group health benefits for injured worker and covered dependents), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.088 (Violation of ORS 659A.086 as unlawful employment practice), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), 659A.150 (Definitions for ORS 659A.150 to 659A.186) to 659A.186 (Exclusivity of provisions), 659A.194 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.233 (Discrimination for reporting certain violations or testifying at unemployment compensation hearing prohibited), 659A.236 (Discrimination for testifying before Legislative Assembly, committee or task force prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.277 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.300 (Requiring breathalyzer, polygraph, psychological stress or brain-wave test or genetic test prohibited), 659A.306 (Requiring employee to pay for medical examination as condition of continued employment prohibited), 659A.309 (Discrimination solely because of employment of another family member prohibited), 659A.315 (Restricting use of tobacco in nonworking hours prohibited), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.320 (Discrimination based on information in credit history prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited); or

(b)

ORS 653.470 (Retaliation prohibited), except an action may not be brought for a claim relating to ORS 653.450 (Employee right to input into work schedule).

(3)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited):

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater, and punitive damages;

(b)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(c)

Upon appeal of any judgment finding a violation, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1); and

(d)

Any attorney fee agreement shall be subject to approval by the court.

(4)

Notwithstanding ORS 31.730 (Standards for award of punitive damages), in an action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), the court may award punitive damages if:

(a)

It is proved by clear and convincing evidence that an employer has engaged in fraud, acted with malice or acted with willful and wanton misconduct; or

(b)

An employer was previously adjudicated in a proceeding under this section or under ORS 659A.850 (Hearing) for a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex).

(5)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited) or 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater.

(6)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers) or 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $250, whichever is greater.

(7)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors) or 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, a civil penalty in the amount of $720.

(8)

Any individual against whom any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age, if the individual is 18 years of age or older, has been made by any place of public accommodation, as defined in ORS 659A.400 (Place of public accommodation defined), by any employee or person acting on behalf of the place or by any person aiding or abetting the place or person in violation of ORS 659A.406 (Aiding or abetting certain discrimination prohibited) may bring an action against the operator or manager of the place, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place or the aider or abettor of the place or person. Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, in an action under this subsection:

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory and punitive damages;

(b)

The operator or manager of the place of public accommodation, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place, and any aider or abettor shall be jointly and severally liable for all damages awarded in the action;

(c)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(d)

The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to a prevailing plaintiff;

(e)

The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails only if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim or no reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of a trial court; and

(f)

Upon any appeal of a judgment under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1).

(9)

When the commissioner or the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, or that a group of persons has been denied any of the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, the commissioner or the Attorney General may file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved persons in the same manner as a person or group of persons may file a civil action under this section. In a civil action filed under this subsection, the court may assess against the respondent, in addition to the relief authorized under subsections (1) and (3) of this section, a civil penalty:

(a)

In an amount not exceeding $50,000 for a first violation; and

(b)

In an amount not exceeding $100,000 for any subsequent violation.

(10)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or alleging discrimination under federal housing law, when the commissioner is pursuing the action on behalf of an aggrieved complainant, the court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the commissioner if the commissioner prevails in the action. The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant that prevails in the action if the court determines that the commissioner had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting the claim or for appealing an adverse decision of the trial court.

(11)

In an action under subsection (1) or (9) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or discrimination under federal housing law:

(a)

“Aggrieved person” includes a person who believes that the person:

(A)

Has been injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice; or

(B)

Will be injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.

(b)

An aggrieved person in regard to issues to be determined in an action may intervene as of right in the action. The Attorney General may intervene in the action if the Attorney General certifies that the case is of general public importance. The court may allow an intervenor prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal. [2001 c.621 §15; 2003 c.521 §5; 2003 c.522 §1; 2003 c.572 §21; 2003 c.603 §7; 2003 c.637 §18; 2005 c.199 §1; 2007 c.100 §12; 2007 c.180 §8; 2007 c.278 §3; 2007 c.280 §1; 2007 c.525 §4; 2007 c.903 §13; 2008 c.36 §16; 2009 c.378 §4; 2009 c.478 §3; 2009 c.524 §3; 2010 c.102 §3; 2011 c.118 §4; 2011 c.484 §3; 2013 c.519 §8; 2015 c.307 §3; 2015 c.434 §4; 2015 c.457 §5; 2015 c.537 §18; 2015 c.614 §166; 2016 c.73 §5; 2017 c.197 §9; 2017 c.685 §12; 2017 c.691 §13; 2019 c.139 §5]
Note 1: The amendments to 659A.885 (Civil action) by section 7, chapter 343, Oregon Laws 2019, and section 7, chapter 463, Oregon Laws 2019, become operative October 1, 2020. See section 11, chapter 343, Oregon Laws 2019, and section 11, chapter 463, Oregon Laws 2019. The text that is operative from October 1, 2020, until January 1, 2021, is set forth for the user’s convenience.
659A.885 (Civil action). (1) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful practice specified in subsection (2) of this section may file a civil action in circuit court. In any action under this subsection, the court may order injunctive relief and any other equitable relief that may be appropriate, including but not limited to reinstatement or the hiring of employees with or without back pay. A court may order back pay in an action under this subsection only for the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of a complaint under ORS 659A.820 (Complaints) with the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, or if a complaint was not filed before the action was commenced, the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of the action. In any action under this subsection, the court may allow the prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal. Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section:

(a)

The judge shall determine the facts in an action under this subsection; and

(b)

Upon any appeal of a judgment in an action under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (3).

(2)

An action may be brought under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of:

(a)

ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors), 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 243.323 (Prohibition against entering into agreement with employee that prevents employee from discussing workplace harassment), 408.230 (Veterans’ preference in public employment), 408.237 (Interviews of veteran applicants for public service position required) (2), 475B.281 (Whistleblower protection for employees), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers), 652.020 (Maximum working hours in certain industries), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited), 653.263 (Overtime for persons employed by seafood processors), 653.265 (Overtime for persons employed in canneries, driers and packing plants), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 653.601 (Definitions for ORS 653.601 to 653.661) to 653.661 (Preemption), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.063 (State to continue group health benefits for injured worker and covered dependents), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.088 (Violation of ORS 659A.086 as unlawful employment practice), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), 659A.150 (Definitions for ORS 659A.150 to 659A.186) to 659A.186 (Exclusivity of provisions), 659A.194 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.233 (Discrimination for reporting certain violations or testifying at unemployment compensation hearing prohibited), 659A.236 (Discrimination for testifying before Legislative Assembly, committee or task force prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.277 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.300 (Requiring breathalyzer, polygraph, psychological stress or brain-wave test or genetic test prohibited), 659A.306 (Requiring employee to pay for medical examination as condition of continued employment prohibited), 659A.309 (Discrimination solely because of employment of another family member prohibited), 659A.315 (Restricting use of tobacco in nonworking hours prohibited), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.320 (Discrimination based on information in credit history prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint), 659A.370 (Employer prohibited from entering into agreements that prevent employee from discussing certain unlawful conduct) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited); or

(b)

ORS 653.470 (Retaliation prohibited), except an action may not be brought for a claim relating to ORS 653.450 (Employee right to input into work schedule).

(3)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 243.323 (Prohibition against entering into agreement with employee that prevents employee from discussing workplace harassment), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint), 659A.370 (Employer prohibited from entering into agreements that prevent employee from discussing certain unlawful conduct) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited):

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater, and punitive damages;

(b)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(c)

Upon appeal of any judgment finding a violation, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1); and

(d)

Any attorney fee agreement shall be subject to approval by the court.

(4)

Notwithstanding ORS 31.730 (Standards for award of punitive damages), in an action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), the court may award punitive damages if:

(a)

It is proved by clear and convincing evidence that an employer has engaged in fraud, acted with malice or acted with willful and wanton misconduct; or

(b)

An employer was previously adjudicated in a proceeding under this section or under ORS 659A.850 (Hearing) for a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex).

(5)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited) or 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater.

(6)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers) or 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $250, whichever is greater.

(7)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors) or 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, a civil penalty in the amount of $720.

(8)

Any individual against whom any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age, if the individual is 18 years of age or older, has been made by any place of public accommodation, as defined in ORS 659A.400 (Place of public accommodation defined), by any employee or person acting on behalf of the place or by any person aiding or abetting the place or person in violation of ORS 659A.406 (Aiding or abetting certain discrimination prohibited) may bring an action against the operator or manager of the place, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place or the aider or abettor of the place or person. Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, in an action under this subsection:

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory and punitive damages;

(b)

The operator or manager of the place of public accommodation, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place, and any aider or abettor shall be jointly and severally liable for all damages awarded in the action;

(c)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(d)

The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to a prevailing plaintiff;

(e)

The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails only if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim or no reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of a trial court; and

(f)

Upon any appeal of a judgment under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1).

(9)

When the commissioner or the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, or that a group of persons has been denied any of the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, the commissioner or the Attorney General may file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved persons in the same manner as a person or group of persons may file a civil action under this section. In a civil action filed under this subsection, the court may assess against the respondent, in addition to the relief authorized under subsections (1) and (3) of this section, a civil penalty:

(a)

In an amount not exceeding $50,000 for a first violation; and

(b)

In an amount not exceeding $100,000 for any subsequent violation.

(10)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or alleging discrimination under federal housing law, when the commissioner is pursuing the action on behalf of an aggrieved complainant, the court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the commissioner if the commissioner prevails in the action. The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant that prevails in the action if the court determines that the commissioner had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting the claim or for appealing an adverse decision of the trial court.

(11)

In an action under subsection (1) or (9) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or discrimination under federal housing law:

(a)

“Aggrieved person” includes a person who believes that the person:

(A)

Has been injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice; or

(B)

Will be injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.

(b)

An aggrieved person in regard to issues to be determined in an action may intervene as of right in the action. The Attorney General may intervene in the action if the Attorney General certifies that the case is of general public importance. The court may allow an intervenor prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal.
Note 2: The amendments to 659A.885 (Civil action) by section 12, chapter 701, Oregon Laws 2019, become operative January 1, 2021, and apply to driver licenses, driver permits and identification cards issued, renewed or replaced on or after January 1, 2021. See sections 25 and 26, chapter 701, Oregon Laws 2019. The text that is operative from January 1, 2021, until January 1, 2024, is set forth for the user’s convenience.
659A.885 (Civil action). (1) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful practice specified in subsection (2) of this section may file a civil action in circuit court. In any action under this subsection, the court may order injunctive relief and any other equitable relief that may be appropriate, including but not limited to reinstatement or the hiring of employees with or without back pay. A court may order back pay in an action under this subsection only for the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of a complaint under ORS 659A.820 (Complaints) with the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, or if a complaint was not filed before the action was commenced, the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of the action. In any action under this subsection, the court may allow the prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal. Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section:

(a)

The judge shall determine the facts in an action under this subsection; and

(b)

Upon any appeal of a judgment in an action under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (3).

(2)

An action may be brought under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of:

(a)

ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors), 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 243.323 (Prohibition against entering into agreement with employee that prevents employee from discussing workplace harassment), 408.230 (Veterans’ preference in public employment), 408.237 (Interviews of veteran applicants for public service position required) (2), 475B.281 (Whistleblower protection for employees), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers), 652.020 (Maximum working hours in certain industries), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited), 653.263 (Overtime for persons employed by seafood processors), 653.265 (Overtime for persons employed in canneries, driers and packing plants), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 653.601 (Definitions for ORS 653.601 to 653.661) to 653.661 (Preemption), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.063 (State to continue group health benefits for injured worker and covered dependents), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.088 (Violation of ORS 659A.086 as unlawful employment practice), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), 659A.150 (Definitions for ORS 659A.150 to 659A.186) to 659A.186 (Exclusivity of provisions), 659A.194 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.233 (Discrimination for reporting certain violations or testifying at unemployment compensation hearing prohibited), 659A.236 (Discrimination for testifying before Legislative Assembly, committee or task force prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.277 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.300 (Requiring breathalyzer, polygraph, psychological stress or brain-wave test or genetic test prohibited), 659A.306 (Requiring employee to pay for medical examination as condition of continued employment prohibited), 659A.309 (Discrimination solely because of employment of another family member prohibited), 659A.315 (Restricting use of tobacco in nonworking hours prohibited), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.320 (Discrimination based on information in credit history prohibited), 659A.343 (Discrimination based on individual’s presentation of identification other than Real ID prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint), 659A.370 (Employer prohibited from entering into agreements that prevent employee from discussing certain unlawful conduct) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited); or

(b)

ORS 653.470 (Retaliation prohibited), except an action may not be brought for a claim relating to ORS 653.450 (Employee right to input into work schedule).

(3)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 243.323 (Prohibition against entering into agreement with employee that prevents employee from discussing workplace harassment), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.343 (Discrimination based on individual’s presentation of identification other than Real ID prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint), 659A.370 (Employer prohibited from entering into agreements that prevent employee from discussing certain unlawful conduct) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited):

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater, and punitive damages;

(b)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(c)

Upon appeal of any judgment finding a violation, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1); and

(d)

Any attorney fee agreement shall be subject to approval by the court.

(4)

Notwithstanding ORS 31.730 (Standards for award of punitive damages), in an action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), the court may award punitive damages if:

(a)

It is proved by clear and convincing evidence that an employer has engaged in fraud, acted with malice or acted with willful and wanton misconduct; or

(b)

An employer was previously adjudicated in a proceeding under this section or under ORS 659A.850 (Hearing) for a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex).

(5)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited) or 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater.

(6)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers) or 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $250, whichever is greater.

(7)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors) or 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, a civil penalty in the amount of $720.

(8)

Any individual against whom any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age, if the individual is 18 years of age or older, has been made by any place of public accommodation, as defined in ORS 659A.400 (Place of public accommodation defined), by any employee or person acting on behalf of the place or by any person aiding or abetting the place or person in violation of ORS 659A.406 (Aiding or abetting certain discrimination prohibited) may bring an action against the operator or manager of the place, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place or the aider or abettor of the place or person. Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, in an action under this subsection:

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory and punitive damages;

(b)

The operator or manager of the place of public accommodation, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place, and any aider or abettor shall be jointly and severally liable for all damages awarded in the action;

(c)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(d)

The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to a prevailing plaintiff;

(e)

The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails only if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim or no reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of a trial court; and

(f)

Upon any appeal of a judgment under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1).

(9)

When the commissioner or the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, or that a group of persons has been denied any of the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, the commissioner or the Attorney General may file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved persons in the same manner as a person or group of persons may file a civil action under this section. In a civil action filed under this subsection, the court may assess against the respondent, in addition to the relief authorized under subsections (1) and (3) of this section, a civil penalty:

(a)

In an amount not exceeding $50,000 for a first violation; and

(b)

In an amount not exceeding $100,000 for any subsequent violation.

(10)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or alleging discrimination under federal housing law, when the commissioner is pursuing the action on behalf of an aggrieved complainant, the court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the commissioner if the commissioner prevails in the action. The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant that prevails in the action if the court determines that the commissioner had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting the claim or for appealing an adverse decision of the trial court.

(11)

In an action under subsection (1) or (9) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or discrimination under federal housing law:

(a)

“Aggrieved person” includes a person who believes that the person:

(A)

Has been injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice; or

(B)

Will be injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.

(b)

An aggrieved person in regard to issues to be determined in an action may intervene as of right in the action. The Attorney General may intervene in the action if the Attorney General certifies that the case is of general public importance. The court may allow an intervenor prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal.
Note 3: The amendments to 659A.885 (Civil action) by section 10, chapter 197, Oregon Laws 2017, become operative January 1, 2024. See section 13, chapter 197, Oregon Laws 2017. The text that is operative from January 1, 2024, until January 1, 2025, including amendments by section 6, chapter 139, Oregon Laws 2019, section 8, chapter 343, Oregon Laws 2019, section 8, chapter 463, Oregon Laws 2019, and section 13, chapter 701, Oregon Laws 2019, is set forth for the user’s convenience.
659A.885 (Civil action). (1) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful practice specified in subsection (2) of this section may file a civil action in circuit court. In any action under this subsection, the court may order injunctive relief and any other equitable relief that may be appropriate, including but not limited to reinstatement or the hiring of employees with or without back pay. A court may order back pay in an action under this subsection only for the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of a complaint under ORS 659A.820 (Complaints) with the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, or if a complaint was not filed before the action was commenced, the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of the action. In any action under this subsection, the court may allow the prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal. Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section:

(a)

The judge shall determine the facts in an action under this subsection; and

(b)

Upon any appeal of a judgment in an action under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (3).

(2)

An action may be brought under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of:

(a)

ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors), 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 243.323 (Prohibition against entering into agreement with employee that prevents employee from discussing workplace harassment), 408.230 (Veterans’ preference in public employment), 408.237 (Interviews of veteran applicants for public service position required) (2), 475B.281 (Whistleblower protection for employees), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers), 652.020 (Maximum working hours in certain industries), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited), 653.263 (Overtime for persons employed by seafood processors), 653.265 (Overtime for persons employed in canneries, driers and packing plants), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 653.601 (Definitions for ORS 653.601 to 653.661) to 653.661 (Preemption), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.063 (State to continue group health benefits for injured worker and covered dependents), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.088 (Violation of ORS 659A.086 as unlawful employment practice), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), 659A.150 (Definitions for ORS 659A.150 to 659A.186) to 659A.186 (Exclusivity of provisions), 659A.194 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.233 (Discrimination for reporting certain violations or testifying at unemployment compensation hearing prohibited), 659A.236 (Discrimination for testifying before Legislative Assembly, committee or task force prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.277 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.300 (Requiring breathalyzer, polygraph, psychological stress or brain-wave test or genetic test prohibited), 659A.306 (Requiring employee to pay for medical examination as condition of continued employment prohibited), 659A.309 (Discrimination solely because of employment of another family member prohibited), 659A.315 (Restricting use of tobacco in nonworking hours prohibited), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.320 (Discrimination based on information in credit history prohibited), 659A.343 (Discrimination based on individual’s presentation of identification other than Real ID prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint), 659A.357 (Restricting salary history inquiries), 659A.370 (Employer prohibited from entering into agreements that prevent employee from discussing certain unlawful conduct) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited); or

(b)

ORS 653.470 (Retaliation prohibited), except an action may not be brought for a claim relating to ORS 653.450 (Employee right to input into work schedule).

(3)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 243.323 (Prohibition against entering into agreement with employee that prevents employee from discussing workplace harassment), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.343 (Discrimination based on individual’s presentation of identification other than Real ID prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint), 659A.357 (Restricting salary history inquiries), 659A.370 (Employer prohibited from entering into agreements that prevent employee from discussing certain unlawful conduct) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited):

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater, and punitive damages;

(b)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(c)

Upon appeal of any judgment finding a violation, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1); and

(d)

Any attorney fee agreement shall be subject to approval by the court.

(4)

Notwithstanding ORS 31.730 (Standards for award of punitive damages), in an action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), the court may award punitive damages if:

(a)

It is proved by clear and convincing evidence that an employer has engaged in fraud, acted with malice or acted with willful and wanton misconduct; or

(b)

An employer was previously adjudicated in a proceeding under this section or under ORS 659A.850 (Hearing) for a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex).

(5)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited) or 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater.

(6)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers) or 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $250, whichever is greater.

(7)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors) or 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, a civil penalty in the amount of $720.

(8)

Any individual against whom any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age, if the individual is 18 years of age or older, has been made by any place of public accommodation, as defined in ORS 659A.400 (Place of public accommodation defined), by any employee or person acting on behalf of the place or by any person aiding or abetting the place or person in violation of ORS 659A.406 (Aiding or abetting certain discrimination prohibited) may bring an action against the operator or manager of the place, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place or the aider or abettor of the place or person. Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, in an action under this subsection:

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory and punitive damages;

(b)

The operator or manager of the place of public accommodation, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place, and any aider or abettor shall be jointly and severally liable for all damages awarded in the action;

(c)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(d)

The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to a prevailing plaintiff;

(e)

The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails only if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim or no reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of a trial court; and

(f)

Upon any appeal of a judgment under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1).

(9)

When the commissioner or the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, or that a group of persons has been denied any of the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, the commissioner or the Attorney General may file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved persons in the same manner as a person or group of persons may file a civil action under this section. In a civil action filed under this subsection, the court may assess against the respondent, in addition to the relief authorized under subsections (1) and (3) of this section, a civil penalty:

(a)

In an amount not exceeding $50,000 for a first violation; and

(b)

In an amount not exceeding $100,000 for any subsequent violation.

(10)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or alleging discrimination under federal housing law, when the commissioner is pursuing the action on behalf of an aggrieved complainant, the court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the commissioner if the commissioner prevails in the action. The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant that prevails in the action if the court determines that the commissioner had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting the claim or for appealing an adverse decision of the trial court.

(11)

In an action under subsection (1) or (9) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or discrimination under federal housing law:

(a)

“Aggrieved person” includes a person who believes that the person:

(A)

Has been injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice; or

(B)

Will be injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.

(b)

An aggrieved person in regard to issues to be determined in an action may intervene as of right in the action. The Attorney General may intervene in the action if the Attorney General certifies that the case is of general public importance. The court may allow an intervenor prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal.
Note 4: The amendments to 659A.885 (Civil action) by section 58, chapter 700, Oregon Laws 2019, become operative January 1, 2025. See section 63, chapter 700, Oregon Laws 2019. The text that is operative on and after January 1, 2025, is set forth for the user’s convenience.
659A.885 (Civil action). (1) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful practice specified in subsection (2) of this section may file a civil action in circuit court. In any action under this subsection, the court may order injunctive relief and any other equitable relief that may be appropriate, including but not limited to reinstatement or the hiring of employees with or without back pay. A court may order back pay in an action under this subsection only for the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of a complaint under ORS 659A.820 (Complaints) with the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, or if a complaint was not filed before the action was commenced, the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of the action. In any action under this subsection, the court may allow the prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal. Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section:

(a)

The judge shall determine the facts in an action under this subsection; and

(b)

Upon any appeal of a judgment in an action under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (3).

(2)

An action may be brought under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of:

(a)

ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors), 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 243.323 (Prohibition against entering into agreement with employee that prevents employee from discussing workplace harassment), 408.230 (Veterans’ preference in public employment), 408.237 (Interviews of veteran applicants for public service position required) (2), 475B.281 (Whistleblower protection for employees), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers), 652.020 (Maximum working hours in certain industries), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited), 653.263 (Overtime for persons employed by seafood processors), 653.265 (Overtime for persons employed in canneries, driers and packing plants), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 653.601 (Definitions for ORS 653.601 to 653.661) to 653.661 (Preemption), 657B.060 (Job protection) and 657B.070 (Denying leave), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.063 (State to continue group health benefits for injured worker and covered dependents), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.088 (Violation of ORS 659A.086 as unlawful employment practice), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), 659A.150 (Definitions for ORS 659A.150 to 659A.186) to 659A.186 (Exclusivity of provisions), 659A.194 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.233 (Discrimination for reporting certain violations or testifying at unemployment compensation hearing prohibited), 659A.236 (Discrimination for testifying before Legislative Assembly, committee or task force prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.277 (Denying leave to employee prohibited), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.300 (Requiring breathalyzer, polygraph, psychological stress or brain-wave test or genetic test prohibited), 659A.306 (Requiring employee to pay for medical examination as condition of continued employment prohibited), 659A.309 (Discrimination solely because of employment of another family member prohibited), 659A.315 (Restricting use of tobacco in nonworking hours prohibited), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.320 (Discrimination based on information in credit history prohibited), 659A.343 (Discrimination based on individual’s presentation of identification other than Real ID prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint), 659A.357 (Restricting salary history inquiries), 659A.370 (Employer prohibited from entering into agreements that prevent employee from discussing certain unlawful conduct) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited); or

(b)

ORS 653.470 (Retaliation prohibited), except an action may not be brought for a claim relating to ORS 653.450 (Employee right to input into work schedule).

(3)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 25.337 (Liability), 25.424 (Liability of withholder), 243.323 (Prohibition against entering into agreement with employee that prevents employee from discussing workplace harassment), 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), 652.355 (Prohibition of discrimination because of wage claim or refusal to work additional hours), 653.547 (Definitions), 653.549 (Rules), 657B.060 (Job protection) and 657B.070 (Denying leave), 659.852 (Retaliation against student prohibited), 659A.030 (Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or expunged juvenile record prohibited), 659A.040 (Discrimination against worker applying for workers’ compensation benefits prohibited), 659A.043 (Reinstatement of injured worker to former position), 659A.046 (Reemployment of injured worker in other available and suitable work), 659A.069 (Discrimination against state worker applying for benefits under ORS 659A.060 to 659A.069 prohibited), 659A.082 (Discrimination against person for service in uniformed service prohibited), 659A.103 (Policy) to 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited), 659A.199 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.203 (Prohibited conduct by public or nonprofit employer), 659A.228 (Discrimination for reporting violation of election laws prohibited), 659A.230 (Discrimination for initiating or aiding in criminal or civil proceedings prohibited), 659A.250 (Definitions for ORS 659A.250 to 659A.262) to 659A.262 (Warrant on behalf of person entitled to access to housing), 659A.290 (Prohibited conduct by employer), 659A.318 (Discrimination relating to academic degree in theology or religious occupations prohibited), 659A.343 (Discrimination based on individual’s presentation of identification other than Real ID prohibited), 659A.355 (Discrimination based on wage inquiry or wage complaint), 659A.357 (Restricting salary history inquiries), 659A.370 (Employer prohibited from entering into agreements that prevent employee from discussing certain unlawful conduct) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited):

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater, and punitive damages;

(b)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(c)

Upon appeal of any judgment finding a violation, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1); and

(d)

Any attorney fee agreement shall be subject to approval by the court.

(4)

Notwithstanding ORS 31.730 (Standards for award of punitive damages), in an action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex), the court may award punitive damages if:

(a)

It is proved by clear and convincing evidence that an employer has engaged in fraud, acted with malice or acted with willful and wanton misconduct; or

(b)

An employer was previously adjudicated in a proceeding under this section or under ORS 659A.850 (Hearing) for a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex).

(5)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 653.060 (Discharging or discriminating against employee prohibited) or 659A.147 (Prohibited conduct), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater.

(6)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 171.120 (Purpose of ORS 171.120 to 171.125), 476.574 (Leave of absence for volunteers) or 659A.218 (Disclosure of employee’s name without consent prohibited), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $250, whichever is greater.

(7)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 10.090 (Prohibited acts by employers against jurors) or 10.092 (Insurance coverage for employee during jury service), the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, a civil penalty in the amount of $720.

(8)

Any individual against whom any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age, if the individual is 18 years of age or older, has been made by any place of public accommodation, as defined in ORS 659A.400 (Place of public accommodation defined), by any employee or person acting on behalf of the place or by any person aiding or abetting the place or person in violation of ORS 659A.406 (Aiding or abetting certain discrimination prohibited) may bring an action against the operator or manager of the place, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place or the aider or abettor of the place or person. Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, in an action under this subsection:

(a)

The court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory and punitive damages;

(b)

The operator or manager of the place of public accommodation, the employee or person acting on behalf of the place, and any aider or abettor shall be jointly and severally liable for all damages awarded in the action;

(c)

At the request of any party, the action shall be tried to a jury;

(d)

The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to a prevailing plaintiff;

(e)

The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails only if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim or no reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of a trial court; and

(f)

Upon any appeal of a judgment under this subsection, the appellate court shall review the judgment pursuant to the standard established by ORS 19.415 (Scope of appellate review) (1).

(9)

When the commissioner or the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, or that a group of persons has been denied any of the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or federal housing law, the commissioner or the Attorney General may file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved persons in the same manner as a person or group of persons may file a civil action under this section. In a civil action filed under this subsection, the court may assess against the respondent, in addition to the relief authorized under subsections (1) and (3) of this section, a civil penalty:

(a)

In an amount not exceeding $50,000 for a first violation; and

(b)

In an amount not exceeding $100,000 for any subsequent violation.

(10)

In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or alleging discrimination under federal housing law, when the commissioner is pursuing the action on behalf of an aggrieved complainant, the court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the commissioner if the commissioner prevails in the action. The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant that prevails in the action if the court determines that the commissioner had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting the claim or for appealing an adverse decision of the trial court.

(11)

In an action under subsection (1) or (9) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 (Discrimination against individual with disability in real property transactions prohibited) or 659A.421 (Discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property prohibited) or discrimination under federal housing law:

(a)

“Aggrieved person” includes a person who believes that the person:

(A)

Has been injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice; or

(B)

Will be injured by an unlawful practice or discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.

(b)

An aggrieved person in regard to issues to be determined in an action may intervene as of right in the action. The Attorney General may intervene in the action if the Attorney General certifies that the case is of general public importance. The court may allow an intervenor prevailing party costs and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal.
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Last accessed
May. 15, 2020