Legal Support

Legal assistance from the Association is conditioned on unified membership in the NEA, OEA, and Local EA at the time of the occurrence requiring legal assistance. Membership must be maintained while receiving such assistance unless OEA and NEA approve withdrawal of membership for special circumstances. As long as you continue to receive legal assistance, you must continue to pay your dues (unless withdrawal from membership is approved) or legal assistance may be denied. Legal assistance is approved only on a case-by-case basis.

A few ways in which OEA’s Legal Services can support you:

  • Receive representation and legal assistance for difficult matters: You never know when you might need your union to represent you. If you have a question about your employment rights or benefits, OEA is here to support you. If you need legal assistance or representation in your workplace, as a union member you receive these benefits free of charge. Call 503-684-3300 or email to get in touch.
  • Access liability insurance: Most educators don’t think they will ever need to access this but like any insurance policy, our union is your backup to protect you as a professional. In certain employment-related situations, your union membership provides you with an attorney and one million dollars in liability insurance coverage for any judgment against you.

Your Rights to Union Representation

As a union member, you have certain rights in the workplace. If you are called into an investigatory or information-gathering meeting with a supervisor where you have reason to believe that discipline may result, make sure you follow these steps. And call your union!

  • Request union representation clearly. Present this information to management or read the text to the right.
  • Respectfully refuse to answer questions until your union representation arrives.
  • The district does not have a legal right to continue questioning without a union representative present after this request is made.
  • Remain in the meeting until it ends.

What To Say:

“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined, terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer or building representative be present. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this interview.”