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Oregon’s Coming Work Scheduling Mandate

The Oregon legislature is planning a new expansive employment law that deals with how employers schedule their workers. The new law makes it both more difficult and more expensive to schedule employees.

The law would likely include:


  • A requirement that employers provide work schedules two weeks in advance, with a penalty of up to four hours of pay for subsequent changes;
  • A requirement to provide up to four hours of penalty pay for scheduled on-call shifts when the employee is told not to report; and
  • A requirement to offer more work to certain part-timers before hiring additional staff.

The new law imposes the onerous work rules of union shops on all businesses–big and small, profit and nonprofit. This sort of one-size-fits-all approach to employment can drive smaller enterprises out of business.

For instance, imagine a construction firm building a new home. Because of backlogs with the city government, the necessary permits are two weeks behind in being issued, halting construction. A work schedule created two weeks earlier could not have anticipated the delay. No matter: The backlog at the city permitting office means that the construction firm must pay workers who have no work to do. What seems like a tiny backlog to city bureaucrats can turn into a financial disaster for small businesses.

It works the other way around, too. Think of a newly opened restaurant. A week after opening, the local paper publishes glowing review, causing a surge of customers. A work schedule put together two weeks earlier could not have even guessed at the restaurant’s new found popularity. Because of the new law, the restaurant cannot add more staff to accommodate the unexpected new customers. As a result, the restaurant get slammed on Yelp for its slow service and business drops off to a trickle and the restaurant closes within the year.

Even local governments will suffer under such onerous regulation. Consider a city swimming pool faced with a thunderstorm in the middle of July, shutting the pool for the day. A work schedule created two weeks earlier could not have planned on a thunderstorm and the resulting pool closure. The law doesn’t care about that. The last-minute pool closure means that the city must pay the lifeguards, swim instructors, and concession workers even though the pool is not bringing in any money from admission fees (and may need to refund money from cancelled classes). The cost of paying for unscheduled closures means fewer summer programs at the city’s pools.

Proponents of “predictive scheduling” laws claim to be protecting workers from capricious or abusive work schedules. These laws can backfire when “scheduling certainty” the flexibility that many workers desire. For example, recent research surveying 100 restaurant and retail businesses likely affected by Washington, DC’s law found that most employers (73 percent) would offer employees less flexibility to make schedule changes. More than half of the businesses said they would reduce the number of part-time workers. Half of the employers said they would reduce overall employment in their firms. By increasing the cost of using employees, these laws would reduce employment. In addition, they may make working conditions worse by forcing rigid scheduling rules typical of unionized workplaces.

Employment contracts are voluntary contracts between the employer and employee. Good employers who want to keep good employees will give them the scheduling certainty they need. At the same time, good employees who want to work for good employers will entertain the scheduling flexibility needed to keep the employer in business. One-size-fits all laws are the problem, not the solution.

New Minimum Wage chart

Here are the new rates by area of the upcoming minimum wage changes.


Minimum Wage spikes cause lay-offs

By Oregon Small Business Association,

When the number of jobless increase, because of minimum wage hikes, it impacts real people. The OSBA has issued this ad to help spread the news of the current Senate Bill 1532 and the damage of minimum wage spikes.

Oregon needs this energy bill

congress-capitolImportant energy bill is being debated in the Senate

The Energy Policy Modernization Act, introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) and currently being debated in the Senate. This legislation marks the first time since 2007 that Congress has set out to revamp the nation’s energy policies.

Read more »

2015 Oregon Job Growers

Though 2015 has witnessed key Oregon companies being acquired by out-of-state enterprises, relocating elsewhere or reducing jobs, a number of other companies have expanded operations. Breweries, sports apparel, and a range of technology-related businesses have made significant investments in Oregon to strengthen their presence in Portland or other parts of the state.

Facebook to hire 150. The social media giant is moving forward with plans for its third and largest data center in Prineville. Upwards of 150 or more jobs are likely to follow to Central Oregon.
GuideSpark eyes 200 new employees. The technology firm has developed a video platform for HR and is expanding its content team in Portland, which was chosen over several other locations considered for growth. To fulfill the terms of its loan from the state, GuideSpark must hire an additional 200 employees. Timing on the hiring isn’t known, but the company has double or tripled in size each of the last three years.

Breweries. North Rim Brewery in Bend, Deschutes Brewery also in Bend, Three Creeks Brewing in Sisters, Widmer Brewing in Portland are just a few breweries that have all significantly expanded operations and added jobs in 2015. Read more »

65% employers can’t fill job vacancies


The Oregon Employment Department has released a survey showing that nearly 70% of Oregon employers have had a difficult time filling vacancies. This is the highest level when compared over the last few years. The vacancy problems appears to be trending upwards over the past few quarters surveyed. Finding employees can become more challenging for employers as the economy improves and the pool of available talent shrinks. Most of these vacancies tend to be full-time and permanent jobs which are coincidentally the most coveted among job seekers and the more necessary for employers. Read more »

Uber does driver donation for Oregon Special Olympics

Press Release,

Through Oct. 28, every time you ride the INSPIRE vehicle option, Uber will donate $1 to Special Olympics Oregon.

The partnership was launched at a press conference today at Providence Park which will host the Fall State Games on Nov. 21-22. Uber was joined by SOOR CEO Margie Hunt, SOOR athlete Katie Dunn, SOOR Board Chair Kerry Tymchuck and the President of the Portland Timbers for this announcement.

SOOR anticipates more than 600 athletes, 250 coaches and 300 volunteers will participate in the upcoming games. Read more »

Oregon has become a target for pirate films

cobblersurvivortheftBy Oregon Small Business Association Foundation

Oregon has become a target state for pirated films. The copyright holders for the Adam Sandler film “The Cobbler” have filed a lawsuit against 11 Oregon internet users for illegally watching the pirated film using the website Popcorn Time. A similar lawsuit for the Peirce Brosnan film “Survivor” has also named 16 Oregon web users in their lawsuit. Popcorn Time is a BitTorrent site that connects users to pirated films. What makes Popcorn Time different from other pirate sites is that it is professional looking and virtually seamless in its use. Many users have no idea that it is in fact a website built upon connecting users to unauthorized films many of which are new releases. Both lawsuits claim that evidence of 10,000 instances of illegally download examples stemming from Oregon users. Read more »

Dave’s Killer Bread sold for $275 million

daveskillerbreadBy Oregon Small Business Association Foundation

Dave’s Killer Bread, the best-selling organic bread in the nation, is being sold to Flower Foods, Inc. for $275 million. The company, founded by the Dahl family as Nature Bake in 1955, assumed the name of its best-selling variety after Dave’s Killer Bread launched as an instant success at the Portland Farmer’s Market in 2005. Read more »

Jordan copyright case against NIKE dismissed

Nike2By Oregon Small Business Association Foundation

A lawsuit charging Nike with copyright infringement has been dismissed in federal court. Photographer Jacobus Rentmeester filed the suit in January, claiming Nike used the pose in his copyrighted image of Michael Jordan when they created their Jumpman logo. Rentmeester shot the original photo for a LIFE Magazine Special Issue previewing the 1984 Summer Olympic Games held in Los Angeles. In 1985, Nike paid him for a limited license to use the image. Read more »