Language Pay Differential

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On December 16, 2020, Portland City Council unanimously passed Resolution No. 37525 to authorize a Language Pay Differential policy to compensate qualifying multilingual City employees who use their language skill to assist the community.


The Language Pay Differential is in alignment with our City of Portland Core Values, Citywide Racial Equity Goals and Strategies, Citywide Language Access Standards, and the City’s goal to be an employer of choice.

Language is a major barrier for the public in accessing City programs, services, activities, and communications. This has been abundantly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic as immigrant and refugee community members expressed difficulty in accessing vital information in their languages. Approximately 50,000 multicultural community members who live in the City of Portland service area self-identify as limited English proficient.

One of the goals of providing the Language Pay Differential is to increase equitable access to government for linguistically and culturally diverse community members. As we strive to be a more inclusive, multicultural institution serving the public equitably, increasing the number of different languages spoken by City staff to serve the public demonstrates a proactive effort to comply with civil rights obligations to reduce institutional language barriers and increase meaningful access to government programs, services, activities, and communications.