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Oregon House Bill would criminalize misclassification of workers

May 14, 2009

By Stacey Mark
Northwest Business Litigation
Ater Wynne Attorneys at Law

Worker misclassification has been a hot topic in Oregon for years.  In 2006, the legislature changed the statutory definition of independent contractor to clarify the criteria that must be met to qualify in Oregon.  Athough the current law imposes a pretty tough standard, the Teamsters Union is pushing HB 2890, dubbed the “Worker Misclassfication Act,” that would impose even stricter standards on worker classification.  The proposed law would require all workers who perform services for remuneration for an employer to be classified as employees unless BOLI determines that the worker meets the criteria for independent contractor status (i.e., the worker has an independently established business, is free from the employer’s direction and control, and performs services outside the usual course of business of the employer). 

The law would criminalize any misclassification of workers, intentional or not, and allow BOLI to impose civil penalties and debar violators from public contracting.  In addition, the law would afford workers a private right of action against the employer for misclassification.

Read more about misclassification of workers and the current Oregon law here.

To see a summary of other employment-related bills introduced so far this year, go here.

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Discuss this article

AlphaDog May 14, 2009

I just hate to see criminalization being banted about as such.

Robert May 14, 2009

I assume there is good intent in this bill, however to make it a crime to misclassify jobs????

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