Support the Oregon Corporate Accountability Act
Over the last few legislative cycles, Oregon has passed important laws to improve working conditions and wages for Oregon workers, including an increased minimum wage, paid sick leave, and the nation’s first state-wide fair workweek law. And yet, as Oregon faces major budget crises, full and comprehensive public enforcement of these laws is often impossible for under-resourced state agencies. At the same time, workers face high barriers when they try to enforce their rights privately through the court system. These barriers include fear of retaliation and forced arbitration clauses that now bar over half the workforce from seeking justice in court. OCAA aims to fix this two-pronged problem of inadequate public and private enforcement without a major infusion of additional state resources. In fact, OCAA will bring much-needed enforcement dollars to Oregon agencies.
OCAA empowers employees to act as agents of the state and seek justice for workplace abuses. After notifying the appropriate state agency, whistleblowers can hold law-breaking employers accountable using the same means public agencies have at their disposal, including the courts. The lion’s share of penalties from these cases will go directly to the state for increased enforcement capacity. This whistleblower enforcement model has been proven to create a culture of compliance in regards to important workplace protections. In 2017, whistleblower cases allowed the U.S. Department of Justice to collect $3.4 billion against companies and individuals who had defrauded the government – 92% of the total recovery.