SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Several historic bills passed the Oregon Legislature this year and many of them will go into effect as we ring in the new year on Friday.
Senate Bill 454 was approved by the Oregon Legislature in June. The new law requires companies with 10 or more workers provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave every year.
“No one should have to decide between taking care of their health and keeping their job,” Scott Moore with the Oregon House Majority Office wrote in a press release. “This law will be a big help to low-income workers who currently have no paid sick time protections.”
On January 1, Oregon will become the 4th state to require paid sick leave behind California, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
House Bill 2007 will also go into effect at the start of 2016. The wage transparency law protects employees who inquire about, discuss or disclose any information about their wages.
The law aims to encourage pay equity by allowing full wage disclosure.
House Bill 3025 otherwise known as “Ban the Box” prevents employers from asking about a job applicant’s criminal history.
“This law will help those who have served their time have a better shot at getting their foot in the door for a job,” Moore wrote.
Currently, 13 states have implemented “Ban the Box” laws. They include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico and Rhode Island.
Six more states including Georgia, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Virginia passed the law in 2015.
Senate Bill 552 will provide employee protections for domestic workers beginning January 1. The new law ensures domestic workers get overtime pay, periods of rest, paid vacation time and freedom from harassment.
Senate Bill 411 guarantees personal injury protection in the state of Oregon.
“Auto insurance consumers will now be able to receive up to the full amount of uninsured motorist coverage (and underinsured coverage) if they are injured by an at-fault, uninsured driver,” Moore explained.
The new law only applies to those with insurance policies issued or renewed after January 2. In order to get full coverage, consumers must contact their auto insurance providers and say they want all of their auto policies renewed or reissued.
House Bill 2177 also called the “New Motor Voter” law ensures every eligible voter receives a ballot.
“While other state legislatures are working to limit voter participation, Oregon is moving in the opposite direction by removing unnecessary, outdated barriers to voting,” Moore wrote.
House Bills 2879 and 3343 expand access to birth control in the state beginning January 1. HB 2879 gives pharmacists the ability to prescribe birth control, so women will no longer have to visit their doctors to receive contraceptive prescriptions.
HB 3343 requires insurance companies to cover a full year of birth control.
Senate Bill 525 is aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. This law was passed in alignment with the federal Violence Against Women Act.
Senate Bill 324 aims to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuel by 10% over the next 10 years. In doing so, the state will have cleaner air, fewer emissions of greenhouse gases and development of a homegrown alternative fuels industry.
The law will be phased in at the start of 2016, with full compliance measures starting April 30, 2018.
House Bill 2832 protects college students from unfair fees, requiring all contracts between public universities and third-party institutions that disburse student aid money to comply with federal consumer protection guidelines.
The new law prohibits transaction fees, inactivity fees and revenue-sharing policies in an effort to lessen the financial burden on students.