Increasing the cost of business
Consider the three bills that the Central Oregonian featured in today's edition.
House Bill 2258 would require employers who have made payroll errors to correct those errors no later than the next regularly-scheduled pay date.
This is simply common sense, will probably affect relatively few employers, and will benefit workers throughout the state.
It's a pity that these types of bills have to be enacted at all, but when they do, we're in support of them.
Similarly, HB 2674 would require that when an employer deducts an amount from an employee's wages as required by a legal agreement, the employer shall pay the amount deducted to the appropriate recipient.
Again, this makes sense. If the employee owes the IRS, then the amount deducted from the employee's pay should be sent to the feds.
HB 2673 is a different matter.
On the surface, a bill requiring employers to pay overtime when an eight-hour day has been exceeded, seems like a good idea.
However, there are more than a few jobs that don't always fit neatly into an eight-hour day.
Admittedly, newspaper reporting is just one of them. It's hard enough to predict the news cycle on a 40-hour work week, much less an eight-hour day.
This bill is an example of something that sounds good on the surface, but we feel the proponents have not thoroughly addressed the impact this bill would have on small businesses if it should become law.
We would implore Sen. Doug Whitsett and Rep. George Gilman to consider the economic impact this bill will have on businesses throughout the state - not just newspapers.
If Oregon is to develop a vibrant economy, some consideration must be given to the costs of doing business. Raising those costs such as HB 2673 would do, may help employees in the short run, but may ultimately injure them in the long run. Because, when the cost of doing business increases, employees hours and jobs are often the first things to be cut.