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A bill that would impose up to $180,000 in civil penalties against employers who are found to violate certain state workplace safety measures and Oregon workers compensation law, including the reporting of injuries and the paying of fines, is heading to Gov. Kate Brown’s office after passing the state Senate on Tuesday.
H.B. 2087, which passed the House on Feb. 26, states that the state Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services “shall assess a civil penalty against an employer or insurer that intentionally or repeatedly induces claimants for compensation to fail to report accidental injuries, causes employees to collect accidental injury claims as off-the-job injury claims, persuades claimants to accept less than the compensation due or makes it necessary for claimants to resort to proceedings against the employer to secure compensation due.”
“The director may not assess under this subsection more than $2,000 for each violation or more than $40,000 in the aggregate for violations during a calendar year,” the bill reads, adding that “each violation, or each day during which a violation continues, constitutes a separate violation.”
In addition, the bill states that failure to pay assessments or other payments due to the director or failure to comply with statutes, rules or orders of the director regarding reports or other requirements would equate to a civil penalty “that exceeds $4,000 for each violation, or $180,000 in the aggregate for violations during a calendar year. Each violation, or each day during which a violation continues, constitutes a separate violation,” the bill states.
Also awaiting the governor’s signature is H.B. 2406, which passed both the Senate and House, which addresses workers compensation eligibility and requirements for trainees working for school districts.
The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division on Friday issued a proposed change to its rules for how weekly wages are calculated, taking into account workers whose wages vary week to week, according to a draft of the changes.