SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE

 

 

February 8, 2005                                                                                                     Hearing Room C

3:10 P.M.                                                                                                                     Tapes  11 - 12

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer, Vice-Chair

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Doug Whitsett

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:          Sen. Ginny Burdick

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Anna Braun, Committee Administrator

Karen Scoffield, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

                                                SB 147 - Public Hearing                                     

                                                SB 148 – Public Hearing                               

                                                SB 139 – Public Hearing       

Introduction of Committee Measures – 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 11, A

005

Chair Prozanski

Calls the meeting to order at 3:17 p.m.  Opens public hearing on SB 147.

SB 147 - PUBLIC HEARING

020

Anna Braun

Committee Administrator.  Provides an overview of SB 147.

030

Dan Gardner

Commissioner, Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).  Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 147 (EXHIBIT A).

040

Amy Klare

Administrator, Civil Rights Division, BOLI.  Discusses support of SB 147. 

050

Chair Prozanski

Asks for clarification regarding the start time of the timeline for when an employee may file a claim.

055

Klare

Answers that it is regarding when the employee has knowledge that the adverse employment action took place. Continues to discuss SB 147.

080

Chair Prozanski

Asks for clarification regarding Klare’s comments.

082

Klare

Answers clarification.

085

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires about the need to expand the thirty (30) day timeline. Asks for clarification regarding the beginning of the 30 day timeline.

090

Klare

Answers that it is thirty (30) days within the last day of harm.  Comments that this is needed because many people are not aware that it is only thirty (30) days and end up missing the deadline.

100

Gardner

Discusses timeline in civil rights cases. 

105

Sen. Whitsett

Comments regarding timeline in civil rights cases.

110

Gardner

Responds to comments from Sen. Whitsett.

112

Klare

Comments that they try not to use the full timelines given them.

115

Chair Prozanski

Asks for clarification regarding options for employees depending on what type of claim they have.  Asks why the law impacted by SB 147 has a 30 day timeline.

125

Annette Talbott

Deputy Labor Commissioner, BOLI.  Answers clarification regarding current law.

150

William Stark

Lawyer, Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.  Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 147 (EXHIBIT B)

170

Stark

Discusses desire to move statute of limitations on SB 147 to be consistent with other discrimination statutes.

205

Sen. Beyer

Inquires if they would support moving all timelines to thirty (30) days.

215

Stark

Answers that they would not. Remarks that the longer the timeframe allows for more deliberation.

240

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires if there is documentation that the shorter timeframe would cause more lawsuits.

245

Stark

Answers that in order to protect a person’s rights, you must file a lawsuit within a timeline.

247

Sen. Whitsett

Asks if it could be argued that the longer the timeframe is, you could have more lawsuits.

249

Stark

Remarks that they should use alternative dispute resolution first rather than having to file a lawsuit within thirty (30) days.

255

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires as to clarification on how thirty (30) days would cause a rush of lawsuits.

270

Stark

States that because they do not have enough information at the thirty (30) day timeline, they cannot file a complaint with BOLI so they file a lawsuit in order to do it before the timeline is up.

300

Sen. Ringo

Comments that this bill is written to allow more time for attorneys to research before lawsuits are filed.

320

Stark

Comments that it can take a long time to acquire information regarding cases.

340

Joe Schaeffer

Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  Discusses support of SB 147.  Discusses concerns regarding SB 147.

395

J.L. Wilson

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).  Discusses concerns regarding SB 147. 

415

Sen. Ringo

Discusses the need of having a longer timeline than thirty (30) days.

440

Wilson

Discusses concerns regarding timeline.

452

Chair Prozanski

Inquires as to what would be a compelling reason for Wilson to agree to extend the timeline.

455

Wilson

Discusses answer. Discusses viewpoint regarding extending the timeline.

TAPE 12, A

030

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies Wilson’s concerns regarding SB 147.

035

Chair Prozanski

Closes public hearing on SB 147 and opens public hearing on SB 148.

SB 148 – PUBLIC HEARING

040

Anna Braun

Committee Administrator.  Provides an overview of SB 148.

050

Dan Gardner

Commissioner, Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). Submits and discusses written testimony is support of SB 148 (EXHIBIT C).

060

Amy Klare

Administrator, Civil Rights Division, BOLI. Discusses support of SB 148. Discusses Oregon Family Leave Act.  Discusses and submits Oregon Court of Appeals case (EXHIBIT D).

090

Chair Prozanski

Inquires if BOLI would have been protected if it were not for the case Klare discussed.

100

Annette Talbott

Deputy Commissioner, BOLI. Answers that unless the person worked for someone who had 50 or more employees they would not be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act.

110

Chair Prozanski

Asks for clarification.

112

Talbott

Offers to return information.

115

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies that BOLI is trying to codify their current rule.

120

Talbott

Answers yes.

121

Sen. Beyer

Inquires if the state act allows more leave than the federal act.

125

Gardner

Answers clarification regarding the differences between the federal and state act. Comments regarding the Oregon Family Leave Act.

135

Sen. Beyer

Inquires regarding other differences between the state and federal acts.

140

Talbott

Answers regarding the differences between the two acts.  Discusses sick child leave. 

170

J.L. Wilson

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Discusses concerns regarding SB 148.  Discusses the need of clarification of language in the bill.

193

Chair Prozanski

Asks for Wilson’s suggestions to amend the bill.

195

Steve Lanning

Oregon American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).  Discusses support of SB 148. 

210

Sen. Whitsett

Asks for more details in regard to Lanning’s testimony.

211

Lanning

Answers question.

225

William Stark

Attorney, Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.  Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 148 (EXHIBIT E).  Remarks that SB 148 will assist in minimizing lawsuits.  

260

Stark

Continues. Discusses the ability of SB 148 to clarify current statute.

315

Sen. Ringo

Inquires regarding language of retaliation and inquires if Stark believes that the words can be misconstrued. 

320

Stark

Discusses the meaning of the language. 

350

Chair Prozanski

Asks BOLI for definitions of retaliation and discrimination in their rules.

360

Talbott

Discusses definition of unlawful discrimination.  Offers to return information regarding the definition of retaliation.

387

Sen. Beyer

Asks for reference of definition.

390

Talbott

Provides statute.

400

Chair Prozanski

Asks to seek judicial guidance regarding case law.  Comments regarding definition.

420

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires regarding potential consequences regarding unfair allegations made by an employee to an employer.

435

Gardner

Answers that there has not been a case with the bureau of an employee retaliating against an employer to his knowledge.  Discusses possible consequences.

445

Sen. Whitsett

Clarifies question. 

460

Gardner

Remarks that a case would be dismissed by BOLI if an unfair allegation is made.

TAPE 11, B

035

Chair Prozanski

Closes public hearing on SB 148. Opens public hearing on SB 139.

SB 139 - PUBLIC HEARING

040

Anna Braun

Committee Administrator.  Provides an overview of SB 139.

045

Dan Gardner

Commissioner, Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 139 (EXHIBIT F).

050

Annette Talbott

Deputy Commissioner, BOLI.  Discusses support of SB 139.  Discusses public employer and criminal whistle blowing laws.  

075

Talbott

Discusses the ability of SB 139 to address whistle blowing retaliation more clearly. 

100

Talbott

Discusses a standard of proof that BOLI uses regarding civil rights complaints.

150

Sen. Whitsett

States appreciation of clarification.

155

Sen. Beyer

Inquires regarding non wage claim complaints.

160

Talbott

Answers question regarding non wage claim complaints.  

165

Sen. Beyer

Inquires as to how many complaints were dismissed.

170

Talbott

Offers to return information.

175

Gardner

Answers that BOLI first sends a demand letter to try to get employers into compliance before invoking civil penalties.

180

Sen. Beyer

Inquires as to how many complaints are regarding farmworkers.

185

Gardner

Answers question.  Discusses farmworker rules and protection. 

205

Sen. Beyer

Clarifies answer given by Gardner.

210

Gardner

Re-clarifies answer.

215

Sen. Whitsett

Comments regarding response to rule change.  Discusses knowledge of concern of agricultural workers regarding mandatory break periods.

235

Gardner

Discusses response to Whitsett’s comments.  Emphasizes desire for all workers to take break periods.

270

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires regarding agricultural employee’s rest periods.

280

Gardner

Answers that an administrative rule exempted agricultural workers and it has now been changed to remove them from exemption. 

290

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires if employers are required to enforce the rest periods.

300

Gardner

Answers that employees have a legal right to take the rest break, but they are not forced to take it. 

310

Chair Prozanski

Interjects that farmworker rights will be on the agenda next week and can be discussed then. Comments regarding workers rights to a rest period and they can choose to exercise it or not.

320

Gardner

Answers that if the worker chooses not to take a rest period, they cannot file a complaint with BOLI.

335

William Stark

Lawyer,  Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.  Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 139 (EXHIBIT G).

375

Stark

Continues. Discusses ability of SB 139 to allow the employer and employee to discuss wages without having to seek outside sources.

415

Lisa Trussell

Associated Oregon Industries, (AOI). Discusses concerns regarding SB 139.  Discusses desire to speak with BOLI regarding the bill. 

TAPE 12, B

020

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies purpose of Trussell’s desire to meet with BOLI.

025

Trussell

Answers that they met once before, but will work together in the future.

035

Chair Prozanski

Closes public hearing on SB 139 and opens work session for introduction of committee measures.

INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE MEASURES - WORK SESSION

040

Anna Braun

Committee Administrator.  Introduces LC 178 (EXHIBIT H) and LC 2333 (EXHIBIT I).

045

Sen. Beyer

MOTION:  Moves LC's:  178, 2333 BE INTRODUCED as committee bills.

 

 

VOTE:  4-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Burdick

 

Chair

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

050

Chair Prozanski

Closes work session for introduction of committee measures and adjourns meeting at 4:43 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 147, written testimony, Dan Gardner, 2 pp
  2. SB 147, written testimony, William Stark, 1 p
  3. SB 148, written testimony, Dan Gardner, 2 pp
  4. SB 148, statute, Amy Klare, 6 pp
  5. SB 148, written testimony, William Stark, 1 p
  6. SB 139, written testimony, Dan Gardner, 3 pp
  7. SB 139, written testimony, William Stark, 1 p
  8. Introductions, LC 178, Staff, 2 pp
  9. Introductions, LC 2333, Staff, 6 pp