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Oregon Passes Bill to Battle Janus

This law protects public employee unions from Trump's Janus decision

Brian Young's picture
Jun 07, 2019

Following the Janus v AFSCME Supreme Court decision many free bargaining states were left wondering what they could do to protect union members in the state. In some states like New York and New Jersey lawmakers preemptively passed laws that would protect union members.

Nearly a year after the decision, Oregon is the most recent state attempting to pass this type of legislation.  The Oregon bill, which passed the State Senate on Thursday by a 17-11 party-line vote.

The bill, named HB 2016 would:

- Require public employers to grant “reasonable paid time” to designated union representatives to conduct a wide range of union business and access members during the workday without the loss of compensation.

- Make it easier for employees to opt into union membership via email or telephone, but potentially harder to opt out, in some cases requiring employees to deliver their notification to union headquarters.

- Give a union’s representatives the right to establish rules regarding appropriate conduct for employees at union meetings.

- Mandate that employers regularly provide unions with all employees’ contact information, including home and cellular phones, emails and addresses.

The bill’s passage was praised by local union leaders. “HB 2016 is a good step forward for public employees and the state,” said Ben Morris, a spokesman for SEIU Local 503. “By putting long-standing practices into law, this legislation will improve the representation that public employees receive from their unions. It will also continue a tradition of good labor-management relations that serves Oregon well.”

The bill has already passed in the Oregon House, so it will now head to Governor Kate Brown’s desk.

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