OSCC Action Alert: Oppose HB 2205

Oppose costly lawsuits against employers in HB 2205

We need your help. On Wednesday February 24th, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Law is holding a public hearing on HB 2205. This bill creates a mechanism that allows for private lawsuits on behalf of the State for the potential violation of ANY Oregon statute.

This is a citizen suit provision on steroids, hiding under the guise of assisting state agencies with enforcing their rules and laws or providing justice to workers. If history tells us anything, neither of those outcomes is likely to occur, although local businesses will suffer greatly.

The endless lawsuits proposed in HB 2205 threaten every employer in Oregon. Only one state has adopted similar policy, and California’s Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) has devastated the state’s business community. Each year in California, businesses face approximately 4,000 PAGA lawsuits, forcing employers into costly settlements, and many for minor or innocent mistakes. Note that California’s PAGA law only applies to labor policy and is still incredibly damaging. HB 2205 applies to every law on the books in Oregon.

This extreme proposal couldn’t come at a worse time for Oregon businesses. Oregon employers have been tasked with implementing and enforcing Oregon’s long list of continuously changing COVID-19 mandates and guidelines. They must consistently monitor evolving guidance and rules at the local, state, and federal levels and implement those changes on the ground. Unfortunately, in this rapidly changing regulatory landscape, minor mistakes do occur. However, HB 2205 offers employers no grace and allows anyone to sue for an alleged violation on behalf of the State of Oregon.

Ask your legislators and the Subcommittee on Civil Law to OPPOSE HB 2205 and any PAGA-related bills.

 

How to Submit Written Testimony

  1. Provide your letter of testimony on your Chamber letterhead. You can download the template letter here. Please provide specific, local examples where possible. You will want to create a PDF of your letter to upload.
  2. Submit your letter through the Testimony Portal on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). You will find this link at the bottom of the committee page on the “Click to Submit Testimony” link.
  3. When submitting testimony, you will need to:

You can also register to testify remotely. Please view the guide below for instructions on how to sign up. You MUST register in order to testify. Registration closes at the time the meeting begins.

 

Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC) | 991 Liberty Street SE, Salem, OR 97302

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