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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 8:00 am
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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 8:00 am
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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Friday, December 9, 2022 at 8:00 am
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82nd Session of the Oregon Legislature Begins
Monday, January 9, 2023 at 8:00 am
The 2023 Session of the Oregon Legislature begins. Legislators are sworn in and bills are introduced.
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Civil Penalties Proposed for Businesses
Defend or settle. It

A bill that will have a huge impact on business, HB 2205, introduced by State Representatives Marty Wilde (D-Eugene) and Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland). Born out of the California Private Attorney General Act, PAGA, it establishes procedures for persons to bring legal action in the name of the state to recover civil penalties for violations of state laws. It provides for the distribution of civil penalties recovered. Fear of a lawsuit has always been a concern of many small-business owners, even more so during this pandemic. But the PAGA bill, HB 2205, which had its first public hearing yesterday, would further raise the stakes for Oregon small businesses by allowing plaintiff’s attorneys to sue private businesses on behalf of the state, resulting in a no-win situation -- either settle out of court to minimize out-of-pocket costs, or even worse, try to defend the case and end up paying sizable attorney fees. It’s a simple money grab at the expense of the taxpayers.

The business community has a bill to respond to that threat, HB 2638. It has been introduced by Representatives Christine Drazan (R-Canby) and David Gomberg (D-Lincoln City). HB 2638 Limits liability for certain claims for damage arising out of acts or omissions taken during the COVID-19 emergency period in reasonable compliance with government guidance related to COVID-19. By contrast, HB 2638 would provide businesses with liability protection against frivolous lawsuits so long as they can demonstrate that the business was reasonably in compliance with state and federal COVID-19 rules and regulations. The concept is simple -- if business owners are following the rules, they shouldn’t have to worry about being sued.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-02-25 13:08:15Last Update: 2021-02-26 17:55:12



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