By J.L. Wilson
Associated Oregon Industries
At the outset of the 2013 Legislative Session, AOI introduced a number of bills aimed at helping modernize Oregon employment law and fixing problems. At this point, it appears that two of AOI’s concepts will pass this session.
SB 678 ensures that LLC owners and members are covered by Oregon’s workers’ compensation exclusive remedy protections. Currently, due to a 2012 Oregon Court of Appeals ruling in Cortez v. Nacco Materials Handling, Oregon LLC owners and members appear to have significant exposure to liability stemming from workplace injury claims.
It is AOI’s contention that LLC owners and members were never meant to be excluded from the liability protections in workers’ compensation law. In response to the Appeals Court ruling, AOI introduced legislation to ensure that LLC owners and members were protected from liability for workplace injuries. That bill is now SB 678. It passed the Senate 28-0, and passed the House Business Committee unanimously as well. It is merely awaiting a vote on the House Floor. You can see AOI’s letter here.
Governor Kitzhaber has indicated his support for the bill as well.
HB 2683 modernizes Oregon’s wage and hour laws by allowing employers to implement direct deposit payroll systems at their discretion. Current law only allowed employers to offer direct deposit with the consent of the employee. Although the bill does allow employees to request payment by check, HB 2683 moves Oregon closer to allowing employers to implement full electronic payment systems through direct deposit (at employer discretion) or payroll cards (upon agreement with the employee).
AOI introduced HB 2683 to address administrative burdens stemming from requiring employee agreement for direct deposit, to simplify final paycheck issues, and to reduce employer and employee costs. You can see AOI’s testimony here.
HB 2683 passed the Oregon House unanimously, passed the Senate General Government Committee unanimously, and is awaiting a vote on the Senate Floor.