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

(1) Any individual 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 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 (3).

(2) An action may be brought under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 25.337, 25.424, 171.120, 399.235, 408.230, 476.574, 652.355, 653.060, 659A.030, 659A.040, 659A.043, 659A.046, 659A.063, 659A.069, 659A.100 to 659A.145, 659A.150 to 659A.186, 659A.194, 659A.203, 659A.218, 659A.230, 659A.233, 659A.236, 659A.250 to 659A.262, 659A.277, 659A.300, 659A.306, 659A.309, 659A.315, 659A.318 or 659A.421.

(3) In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 25.337, 25.424, 659A.030, 659A.040, 659A.043, 659A.046, 659A.069, 659A.100 to 659A.145, 659A.230, 659A.250 to 659A.262, 659A.318 or 659A.421:

(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 (1); and

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

(4) In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 652.355 or 653.060, the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater.

(5) In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 171.120, 476.574, 659A.203 or 659A.218, the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $250, whichever is greater.

(6) Any individual against whom any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, 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, by any person acting on behalf of the place or by any person aiding or abetting the place or person in violation of ORS 659A.406 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 (1).

(7) 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 or 659A.421 or federal housing law, or that a group of individuals has been denied any of the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 or 659A.421 or federal housing law, the commissioner or the Attorney General may file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved individuals in the same manner as an individual or group of individuals 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.

(8) In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 or 659A.421 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. [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.180 §8; 2007 c.278 §3; 2007 c.280 §1; 2007 c.525 §4; 2007 c.903 §13]

Note: The amendments to 659A.885 by section 12, chapter 100, Oregon Laws 2007, are the subject of a referendum petition that may be filed with the Secretary of State not later than September 26, 2007. If the referendum petition is filed with the required number of signatures of electors, chapter 100, Oregon Laws 2007, will be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at the regular general election held on November 4, 2008. If approved by the people at the general election, chapter 100, Oregon Laws 2007, takes effect December 4, 2008. If the referendum petition is not filed with the Secretary of State or does not contain the required number of signatures of electors, the amendments to 659A.885 by section 12, chapter 100, Oregon Laws 2007, take effect January 1, 2008. 659A.885, as amended by section 12, chapter 100, Oregon Laws 2007, and including amendments by section 8, chapter 180, Oregon Laws 2007, section 3, chapter 278, Oregon Laws 2007, section 1, chapter 280, Oregon Laws 2007, section 4, chapter 525, Oregon Laws 2007, and section 13, chapter 903, Oregon Laws 2007, is set forth for the userís convenience.

659A.885. (1) Any individual 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 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 (3).

(2) An action may be brought under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 25.337, 25.424, 171.120, 399.235, 408.230, 476.574, 652.355, 653.060, 659A.030, 659A.040, 659A.043, 659A.046, 659A.063, 659A.069, 659A.100 to 659A.145, 659A.150 to 659A.186, 659A.194, 659A.203, 659A.218, 659A.230, 659A.233, 659A.236, 659A.250 to 659A.262, 659A.277, 659A.300, 659A.306, 659A.309, 659A.315, 659A.318 or 659A.421.

(3) In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 25.337, 25.424, 659A.030, 659A.040, 659A.043, 659A.046, 659A.069, 659A.100 to 659A.145, 659A.230, 659A.250 to 659A.262, 659A.318 or 659A.421:

(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 (1); and

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

(4) In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 652.355 or 653.060, the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater.

(5) In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 171.120, 476.574, 659A.203 or 659A.218, the court may award, in addition to the relief authorized under subsection (1) of this section, compensatory damages or $250, whichever is greater.

(6) 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, 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 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 (1).

(7) 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 or 659A.421 or federal housing law, or that a group of individuals has been denied any of the rights protected by ORS 659A.145 or 659A.421 or federal housing law, the commissioner or the Attorney General may file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved individuals in the same manner as an individual or group of individuals 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.

(8) In any action under subsection (1) of this section alleging a violation of ORS 659A.145 or 659A.421 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.

Note: Section 4, chapter 278, Oregon Laws 2007, provides:

Sec. 4. The amendments to ORS 652.355, 653.060 and 659A.885 by sections 1 to 3 of this 2007 Act apply only to discriminatory acts occurring on or after the effective date of this 2007 Act [January 1, 2008]. [2007 c.278 §4]

Note: Section 2, chapter 280, Oregon Laws 2007, provides:

Sec. 2. The amendments to ORS 659A.885 by section 1 of this 2007 Act apply to actions commenced on or after the effective date of this 2007 Act [January 1, 2008]. [2007 c.280 §2]

Note: Section 5, chapter 525, Oregon Laws 2007, provides:

Sec. 5. The amendments to ORS 408.225, 408.230, 408.235 and 659A.885 [by sections 1 to 4 of this 2007 Act] apply to hiring decisions for civil service positions made by public employers on or after the effective date of this 2007 Act [June 20, 2007]. [2007 c.525 §5]

Note: See second note under 659A.003.

Section:  Previous  659A.825  659A.830  659A.835  659A.840  659A.845  659A.850  659A.855  659A.860  659A.865  659A.870  659A.875  659A.880  659A.885  659A.890  659A.990  Next

Last modified: August 7, 2008