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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Lawmakers Consider 'Predictive Scheduling' Bill


Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would give hourly employees more certainty knowing when they'll be scheduled to work. The measure would require employers to pay their employees for at least four hours if their shift is canceled or changed less than 24 hours in advance.

Supporters of the measure held a press conference at the state Capitol Thursday in advance of a hearing next week on the bill. Restaurant worker Hali Anderson said the bill would provide more personal stability.

"Management will often send us home after just one or two hours of work,” Anderson said. “We are required to be available for on-call shifts, which bar the opportunity to pursue other jobs or education, but which provide no guarantee of hours."

The bill is scheduled for a public hearing on Monday, February 27. Business groups opposed a similar measure in the 2015 session that failed to pass. But lawmakers did approve a ban on local governments enacting predictive scheduling laws. That ban is scheduled to expire at the close of the 2017 legislative session. So if lawmakers don't act, cities and counties could enact their own versions of the bill.

Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association Director of Government Affairs Greg Astley said his group would like that pre-emption continued indefinitely. Astley said restaurant owners need the flexibility to make staffing decisions without being penalized.