Oregon's "Job Killer" Legislation

Recently, Jan Meekcoms State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) of Oregon put out a list of current bills before Oregon's legislature labeled "Oregon 'Job Killers' List".

Democrats in our legislature, of whom none are NFIB members, are up in arms at a recent article Meekcoms wrote about the harmful bills. How dare an organization that has defended business growth, the middle class, and job creation call such bills, and those who sponsor them, a "Trojan Horse"? Whine, whine, whine. The truth hurts. Click here to see the article. Below is a comprehensive list of bills and a short explanation of them, that NFIB is working hard to defeat in the legislature.

Please note before reading the list. You might find yourself scratching your head and saying "these things are already illegal in Oregon and an employee can sue over these issues." You would be absolutely correct, and that is appropriate. Where NFIB is alarmed is many of these bills remove the "due process" a court decision allows and gives punitive powers immediately to government entities. Since some of those decisions can seize a business's property and bankrupt them, it is alarming to think about the astronomical liability an employer faces in the simple act of hiring an employee. This also includes any employer who conducts business and has employees in Oregon. When considering those options, the term "Job Killers List" seems very appropriate.

SB19 Expands Liability for Wage Claims

Exposes shift supervisors, bookkeepers, farm labor contractors, farmers and others to the potential liability of wage claim allegations, even when based on honest mistakes. Also adds criminal liability to civil wage claims.

SB615 State Retirement for the Private Sector

Creates mandatory enrollment in a state-run plan for private sector employers that do not offer a state qualified retirement plan to their employees. Counterpart: HB2960

SB718 Allows Liens on Personal Employer Property

Creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage-and-hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer's real or personal property, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims.

SB845 Imposes New Fees on Large Employers

Requires employers whose employees obtain health insurance coverage through a public program to pay a fee to the state for that coverage.

SB454 Implements Statewide Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

Increases employer mandates by requiring all employers, large and small, to provide all employees with paid sick leave, and threatens employers with statuatory penalties as well as litigation for alleged violations. Counterpart: HB2005

HB2007 Adds Employer Liability for Wage Discussion

Creates a new unlawful employment practice against an employer who takes any negative employment action against an employee for discussing or disclosing "in any manner" his or her wages or those of another employee.

HB2009 Increases Statewide Minimum Wage

Increases Oregon's minimum wage from $9.75 to $15 per hour by 2018. Other minimum wage bills: SB130, SB327, SB332, SB597, SB610, SB682, HB2004, HB2008 and HB2012.

HB2386 Authorizes New Cease and Desist Authority for Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) Subjects employers to potentially unjustified imposition of cease and desist orders by BOLI, which, once issued, could require costly proceeding to have removed. HB2540 Requires Prevailing Wage in Enterprise Zones

Eliminates the incentive to build projects inside Enterprise Zones by requiring prevailing wage to be paid on any privately owned projects developed on private land.

HB2606 Expands Family Leave for Siblings Adds siblings as an additional category of family members for whom a worker may take leave to provide care.

HB2764 Increases Workers Compensation Costs

Unravels certain cost-saving provisions and resulting benefit increases due to Oregon's 1990 Workers Compensation reforms, resulting in employers paying nearly 5% increases in workers compensation system costs without any expectation that increases will be offset by system savings.

HB3377 Mandates Predictive Scheduling

Requires employer to establish "mutally acceptable work schedule" upon employee request for a flexible or predictable work schedule. Mandates employers provide alternative work schedules. Other predictive scheduling bills: SB888, HB2010.

Legislation included on the "Job Killer" list will change throughout the session as bills are amended or new language is introduced.

Resources: NFIB

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