Since the start of the 2019 Legislative session, there have been over 1,700 bills already introduced. Here are a couple that are on our radar:

  • HB 2655 and SB 379

These bills are aimed at preventing employers from enforcing a zero-tolerance workplace drug free policies on substances legal in Oregon during non working hours, such as tobacco or Marijuana. It also lays out restrictions, such as if it is an occupational qualification or the performance of work while impaired. Other states have looked into enacting this type of bill, and each one has their own way of portraying this issue.

  • HB 2175 and SB 110

The focus of these bills are to help alleviate the complications that have arisen from Oregon’s new manufacturing overtime limits which cap production employees at 60 hours per week. It defines what constitutes a workweek and when a workweek can begin as long as it is not designed to evade the overtime requirements. It also talks about how employers may permit an employee to work overtime up to three hours more than the applicable limit for the maximum allowable hours of employment in one day. This maximum allowable hours for a workday is 10 hours for any mill, factory or other manufacturing jobs.

  • HB 2255 and SB 592

These would increase damage awards in medical lawsuits.

  • SB 608

This bill is a comprehensive rent control and tenant protection bill. It prohibits landlords from terminating month-to-month tenancy without cause after 12 months or 1 year of occupancy. It also allows landlords to terminate tenancy with 90 days’ written notice and payment of one month’s rent in certain conditions. This bill would allow for landlords to not renew fixed term tenancy if a tenant receives three lease violations warnings within 12 months during term and landlord gives 90 days’ notice. It would limit rent increases for residential tenancies to one year, and would limit the maximum annual rent increase to seven percent above annual change in consumer price index.

Other issues that are prevalent are:

  • Cap and Trade

There hasn’t been a bill introduced yet regarding cap and trade, but is projected to be introduced within the upcoming week.

  • Business taxes

Hearings will begin, focusing on a potential tax plan that will meet the Governor’s objective of raising business taxes by $2 billion dollars.

Lastly, some issues that will be coming this next week:

  • Single use straw ban

This follows along with SB 90, which aims to ban the use of single use straws.

  • Workplace accommodations for pregnant employees

HB 2341 could require an employer to hire an additional person to do heavy lifting or to purchase equipment to allow an employee to stay in their job during pregnancy.

  • Biometric data collection

SB 284 would make it an unlawful employment practice to collect biometric data (such as fingerprints or retinol scans) from employees.

Other News

  • OSCC launches VoterVoice

OSCC has subscribed to a platform called VoterVoice, which is designed to make it easier for Chamber members as well as the Chambers around Oregon to contact their representatives. It will also inform communities how potential legislation will impact the local business community.

  • Repealing The Cadillac Tax

The US Chamber of Commerce has composed a sign-on letter asking members of congress to cosponsor the bipartisan bill HR 748, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019. The legislation will repeal the impending 40% “Cadillac Tax” on employer-provided health care. Employer-provided coverage is the primary source of coverage for the majority of Americans.