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SB 519, The "Employer Gag Law" Requires A Workplace Posting, Are You In Compliance?

April 30, 2010

By Jacqueline M. Damm

LABOR LAW UPDATE 

Senate Bill 519, known to its supporters as the Workers Freedom Act and to its critics as the Employer Gag Bill, took effect January 1, 2010. As we reported in our July 24, 2009 Bullard Alert, SB 519 prohibits employers from holding mandatory meetings to discuss the employer’s views on religious or political issues, including unionization. Additionally, SB 519 includes a notice posting requirement.

Although a pending lawsuit seeks to block the law as a violation of the National Labor Relations Act and of constitutional free speech rights (as discussed in our December 28, 2009 Bullard Alert), SB 519 remains in effect. As a result, Oregon employers must still comply with the posting requirement.

While it requires a posting, SB 519 does little more than state that the notice must be posted in a “place normally reserved for employment-related notices and in a place commonly frequented by employees.” The law does not provide the specific content of the required posting; it merely instructs that the posting must notify employees of their rights under SB 519. Moreover, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has stated that it does not intend to fill the void by publishing a model notice.

We have two suggestions for Oregon employers, who have effectively been left on their own to develop a compliant notice. Oregon employers may choose to post either:

(2) a statement such as this one, developed for our clients.

Bullard Law will continue to monitor developments related to SB 519, as well as other topics of importance to employers facing union organizing. Please also feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about any other labor, employment or benefits issues.

- Sarah M. Petersen & Jacqueline M. Damm
 
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