Video – Rep Kennemer on SB1548

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers advanced a bill Wednesday that bans businesses from excluding unemployed applicants in their helped wanted ads.

While Senate Bill 1548 doesn’t have any opposition, it nearly died after at least one member powerful enough to kill the bill expressed concerns about it.

Under the bill, Oregon businesses would be fined $1,000 by the state for writing in their job ads that unemployed applicants will not be considered.

The other key issue was whether applicants could sue a company. The bill doesn’t allow new lawsuits against companies and it also doesn’t stop employers from actually excluding unemployed candidates once they have their resume.

But questions linger over whether it could lead to broader protections for the unemployed that businesses might oppose.

“It does raise the question of is this the slippery slope? Is this leading towards protected class like minorities or disabled or seniors?” said Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City. “If this opened the opportunity for any employee who had this experience to sue, I think this would be a very unacceptable practice because all of a sudden we’d have huge proliferations of lawsuits.”

He said he was hesitant to sign off on the bill until he was assured companies couldn’t be sued…

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