SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE

 

 

January 27, 2005                                                                                                     Hearing Room C

3:10 P.M.                                                                                                                            Tapes 5-6

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer, Vice-Chair

Sen. Ginny Burdick

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Doug Whitsett   

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Anna Braun, Committee Administrator

Karen Scoffield, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

                                                Management Labor Advisory Committee - Informational Meeting

                                                SB 140 - Public Hearing

                                                SB 143 – Public Hearing

                                                Introduction of Committee Measure – Work Session         

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 5, A

005

Chair Prozanski

Calls the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m. Opens informational meeting on Management Labor Advisory Committee (MLAC).

MANAGEMENT LABOR ADVISORY COMMITTEE - INFORMATIONAL MEETING

015

Ken Hector

Co-Chair, Management Labor Advisory Committee’s Independent Medical Examination Subcommittee (MLAC). Introduces himself. Gives background regarding findings of Independent Medical Examination subcommittee (IME).  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT A).

045

Lon Holston

Management Labor Advisory Committee’s Independent Medical Examination Subcommittee (MLAC).  Introduces himself. Discusses findings of IME. Discusses suggestion that Workers’ Compensation Division should develop a certification process for IME physicians.

060

Hector

Discusses the concern of patients of having an observer in the room during exam. Discusses travel distance.

090

Hector

Continues. Discusses notice to the worker regarding the IME.

115

Holston

Discusses ways to better inform the worker of the process of the exam. Discusses need of patients to be prepared for the exam.

125

Hector

Discusses the need of the IME physician to have a complete set of records prior to the exam.

150

Holston

Discusses the importance of feedback on the process after completion. They plan to have the Workers’ Compensation Division have a survey taken. They desire that a monetary penalty be charged for injured workers not showing up for exam.

180

Holston

Discusses suggestion that the physician go over the report with patient.

190

Hector

Discusses the need of the division to work on training for claims examiners and their plan to implement this.  Recognizes that recommendations they discussed need more details, but will do this after legislative counsel drafts them. Concludes. Recognizes that workers’ compensation division will need to continue to monitor the recommended changes and make adjustments as necessary.

235

Chair Prozanski

Reminds everyone that the witnesses are here for informational purposes only.  Remarks that many bills will be introduced later at public hearings.

260

Sen. Whitsett

Asks the witnesses if they view that the Medical Examination Board has failed in reviewing and resolving complaints.

265

Holston

Answers question. Elaborates.

280

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires as to why a patient relationship is necessary for a claim to be investigated.

295

Holston

Explains that he is going off of testimony that came before the board only.

300

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires regarding the difficulty of travel for a specialist physician.

325

Holton

Answers that it is a complicated issue and is still being worked on.

335

Sen. Whitsett

Discusses the review of records.

340

Hector

Explains the background of review of records proposal.

365

Sen. Whitsett

Discusses Hector’s answer.

370

Sen. Beyer

Inquires as to why Brad Witt is not here today.

375

Hector

Answers that Brad Witt has become a State Representative.

390

Chair Prozanski

Thanks witnesses. Inquires as to how many IME’s a patient may be required to go through.

400

Hector

Answers that currently law allows three IME’s.

405

Chair Prozanski

Asks for confirmation that they are not proposing a change to this number.

410

Hector

Confirms that they made no recommendation as to changing the number of IME’s or attending physicians for the injured worker.

415

Sen. Beyer

Inquires as to who is considered a paid observer.

425

Hector

Explains that the observer would be a family member or close friend as opposed to someone who is being paid to be there.

435

Sen. Beyer

Inquires as to how that would be enforced.

445

Hector

Explains that the worker would have to identify to the physician who the person observing is.

455

Chair Prozanski

Asks for more information regarding areas that are still in discussion by the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

470

Chair Prozanski

Thanks witnesses for their time. Closes informational meeting on MLAC and opens public hearing on SB 140.

SB 140 – PUBLIC HEARING

TAPE 6, A

050

Anna Braun

Committee Administrator.  Provides an overview of SB 140.

060

Dan Gardner

Commissioner, Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 140 (EXHIBIT B).  Provides background on the purpose of drafting the bill.

075

Christine Hammond

Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, BOLI.  Discusses the state of New Jersey’s labor department and their process for funding their wage and hour program, which is similar to what SB 140 proposes. Discusses support of SB 140.

110

Gardner

Continues to explain SB 140 in more detail. Explains that they do not desire this bill to apply to the prevailing wage part of their law . Clarifies that it is not written with the intent to fine a prime contractor for actions of a subcontractor.

140

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires as to where in SB 140 the items Gardner discussed are found.

150

Gardner

Answers that they plan to make amendments regarding these items because they are not clearly exempted.

160

Sen. Whitsett

Asks where this program will be funded from.

165

Gardner

Discusses the funding structure.

175

Sen. Whitsett

Clarifies that it would give them the option to fund part of their services out of the money obtained.

180

Gardner

Confirms that it does. It also allows them from ten to twenty-five percent (10-25%).

185

Sen. Beyer

Inquires as to what civil penalties apply.

190

Gardner

Answers that there are several current civil penalties, but this will be an administrative fee paid by each violator.

195

Sen. Beyer

Inquires if civil penalties currently go in a general fund.

197

Gardner

Answers that yes, except for prevailing wage, violations go in a prevailing wage fund.

200

Sen. Beyer

Inquires regarding current financial consequences for employers who fail to pay employees.

215

Gardner

Answers that they have penalties for those employers who have fired an employee and fail to pay final wages.

220

Annette Talbott

Deputy Commissioner, BOLI.  Clarifies that they currently have a penalty for final wages, but that this bill is to assist people who are currently still working for an employer.

235

Gardner

Confirms that penalty wages go to the employee directly, not the Bureau.

240

Sen. Beyer

Inquires as to a list of what violations incur civil penalties.

242

Gardner

Offers to return the requested information to the committee.

245

Sen. Whitsett

Asks for clarification between the definition of a fee and fine.

247

Gardner

Explains that an administrative fee is for cost of actual work and a fine is a penalty.

260

Sen. Whitsett

Clarifies that the administrative fee they would collect would be restricted to the actual costs of the Bureau.

265

Gardner

Answers that it could be structured from anywhere from ten to twenty-five percent (10-25%).

285

Lisa Trussell

Associated Oregon Industries (AOI). Discusses opposition and concerns to SB 140. Discusses plans to meet with BOLI to address these concerns.

310

Jessica Harris Adamson

Associated General Contractors (AGC). Discusses support of SB 140. Submits statute ORS 279C.825 (EXHIBIT C).

345

Chair Prozanski

Closes public hearing on SB 140. Opens public hearing on SB 143.

SB 143 - PUBLIC HEARING

355

Anna Braun

Committee Administrator. Gives overview of SB 143.

365

Dan Gardner

Commissioner, Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). Submits and discusses written testimony in support of SB 143 (EXHIBIT D). Provides an example of an employee who was forced to work off the clock.

TAPE 5, B

010

Gardner

Continues. Discusses benefits of SB 143. Discusses the desire for the bill to be a deterrent to employers.

020

Sen. Beyer

Asks for an example in Oregon.

025

Gardner

Explains that employees do not come to the Bureau in many instances. If there are several employees they will get together and hire an attorney in a class action law suit. Nationally there are several examples.

030

Sen. Beyer

Inquires if they have not actually received several complaints regarding this at the Bureau.

035

Christine Hammond

Administrator. Wage and Hour Division, BOLI.  Answers that many wage claims they receive are regarding employers’ failure to pay employees for all hours worked.

040

Sen. Beyer

Asks for a number of the claims they received in the last year.

045

Hammond

Offers to look back on past claims, but cannot think of a specific example. Offers to return specific statistics.

055

Sen. Beyer

Inquires as to burden of proof for a willful repeated violation.

060

Annette Talbott

Deputy Commissioner, BOLI.  Answers that there was a bill last session that addressed this issue. Answers Beyer’s question.

070

Chair Prozanski

Asks for citation.

072

Talbott

Provides citation (OAR 839-001-0410 (4)).

075

Chair Prozanski

Asks for clarification regarding definition.

080

Talbott

Answers clarification.

083

Chair Prozanski

Inquires regarding negligence.

085

Talbott

Answers that negligence is not in this realm and not the terminology that they use within this statute.

100

Sen. Beyer

Asks for definition regarding repeatedly.

105

Talbott

Answers that she is not aware of a current definition for repeatedly.

110

Chair Prozanski

Agrees that clarification is needed.

115

Gardner

Discusses BOLI’s strategy to make this part of their technical assistance unit for employers to inform employers of this law.

125

Chair Prozanski

Inquires if BOLI’s website notifies of changes in law.

130

Talbott

Answers that yes, they use website to notify employers of many differences in the law. Explains the duties of the technical assistance unit in more detail.

150

Sen. Whitsett

Provides an example and inquires as to what procedures BOLI would take.  

160

Hammond

Answers question regarding example.

180

Sen. Whitsett

Asks for clarification from Hammond’s answer.

185

Hammond

Answers clarification.

190

Chair Prozanski

Asks for more information regarding Hammond’s answer.

192

Gardner

Offers to send materials to committee.

195

Chair Prozanski

Asks for an overview from the Bureau at a later date.

205

Lisa Trussell

Associated Oregon Industries (AOI).  Discusses opposition and concerns related to SB 143. Discusses plan to meet with BOLI regarding these concerns.

230

Steve Lanning

Political Director, Oregon AFL-CIO. Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 143 (EXHIBIT E). Discusses examples of companies in Oregon that failed to pay wages.

270

Sen. Beyer

Inquires if law is regarding public employers.

275

Gardner

Answers that it would apply to all employers.

280

Chair Prozanski

Closes public hearing on SB 143. Opens work session for introduction of committee measure.

INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE MEASURE - WORK SESSION

285

Anna Braun

Committee Administrator.  Introduces LC 1288 (EXHIBIT F).

290

Anna Braun

Submits written testimony on behalf of Robert Russell in support of LC 1288 (EXHIBIT G).

300

Sen. Beyer

MOTION:  Moves LC 1288 BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

 

 

VOTE:  4-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Ringo

 

Chair Prozanski

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

305

Chair Prozanski

Closes work session and adjourns meeting at 4:35 p.m.

 


 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Workers’ Compensation, Management Labor Advisory Committee (MLAC) Report, Ken Hector and Lon Holston, 5 pp
  2. SB 140, written testimony, Dan Gardner, 3 pp
  3. SB 140, statute, Jessica Harris Adamson, 1 p
  4. SB 143, written testimony, Dan Gardner, 8 pp
  5. SB 143, written testimony, Steve Lanning, 2 pp
  6. Introductions, LC 1288, Staff, 7 pp
  7. Workers’ Compensation, Proposal to MLAC, Robert Russell, 2 pp