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Oregon Legislature Becomes First To Pass Statewide Fair Workweek

Vote follows on the heels of launch for fair workweek in Chicago this week


NEW YORK – Oregon is on the verge of becoming the first state to pass statewide protections for work hours, with a 46-13 bipartisan vote in the House sending the bill to the Governor’s desk for her signature. The bill already passed the State Senate with another bipartisan 23-6 vote. Governor Kate Brown is widely expected to sign.

The victory follows closely in the wake of a series of victories for the fair workweek movement, with the introduction of legislation to ensure a fair workweek in Chicago this week. Last month, New York City became the largest city in the country to win a fair workweek, ensuring better hours for more than 65,000 workers. New York followed Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Emeryville, and San Jose, CA, all of which have passed fair workweek policies in recent years. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced national legislation to provide fair work hours earlier this month.

A recent poll of more than 5,000 working people revealed overwhelming national support for fair workweek policies, showing that 73 percent of Americans back laws that require employers give workers stable hours, input into their schedules, and more opportunities for full-time work. It also showed that 67 percent of hourly workers report unfair scheduling practices, with 49 percent working fewer hours than they would like and 38 percent experiencing varying number of hours week to week.

The Oregon bill will give employees a good faith estimate of weekly work hours upon hiring, two weeks’ advance notice of their schedule, compensation for employer-initiated work schedule changes, at least ten hours’ rest between shifts, and a right to input into work schedules. The Oregon bill would be the first Fair Workweek law to cover hotel, casino, and other hospitality workers.

"Now, working people in Oregon can make plans for childcare or doctor's appointments or education, without the curve ball of a sudden scheduling change throwing their lives off balance. This is a huge victory for working families, and we hope it sets an example for other states,” said Hannah Taube, a spokesperson for the Oregon Working Families Party, which helped lead the state-wide campaign for the issue.

"This is a meaningful step in acknowledging that the lives of workers matter over corporate profits,” said Jeff Anderson, Secretary-Treasurer, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555. “Working families should have the right to determine their own time and balance work with family and other responsibilities. I am excited that Oregon took real leadership on this, and look forward to Oregon serving as a model for other states."

“The passage of FWW is a major victory for working people in the state of Oregon,” said Ramon Ramirez, President of Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, an Oregon farmworkers union. “Oregon will set the example nationally for improving the living and working condition of all workers. When workers are given the opportunity to strategize and organize we can create change.”

“City after city across America has passed fair workweek reforms – and now, states are joining the fight,” said Carrie Gleason, Director of the Fair Workweek Initiative at the Center for Popular Democracy, which has led campaigns for fair workweek reforms nationwide. “Oregon might be the first to break the dam, but it will be far from the last. Work hours protections have proven enormously popular around the country and are only gaining steam. We will not rest until working families in every city and every state have the right to a fair workweek.”



Asya Pikovsky, apikovsky@populardemocracy.org, 207-522-2442

Joe Dinkin, jdinkin@workingfamilies.org, 978-223-5868