From our Summer 2021 e-newsletter
The following bills, amongst others, came out of Oregon’s 2021 recent legislative session. The following bills could be of interest to you as you navigate your relationships with your unionized public-sector employees. The bills outlined below contain just a summary of the newly enacted statutory requirements. You should consult with your management Labor Attorney for full details and best practices for implementation.
HB2930 – Police Misconduct – Arbitration proceedings (7/1/2021)
For Collective Bargaining Agreements entered into after July 1, 2021, grievances related to misconduct allegations for law enforcement officers will be resolved pursuant to the new statutory requirements. The burden of proof, upon the employer, is set at a “preponderance of the evidence” rather than the traditional “clear and convincing” evidence standard. Just cause is that as defined in ORS 236.350. The Oregon Employment Relations Board will appoint a person from a list of qualified, indifferent and unbiased persons to serve as the arbitrator of the proceeding. The appointed arbitrator shall uphold the disciplinary action unless the arbitrator finds that the disciplinary action is arbitrary and capricious. The bill also creates a commission through the DPSST to build a non-bargainable statewide discipline guide to address significant misconduct in the specified areas of misconduct.
HB2929 – Duty to Intervene and Report Misconduct
A police officer, including reserve officers, who witnesses another officer engaging in excessive force, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination based on protected class, or a crime, must report the conduct to a direct supervisor, someone in the chain of command, or the DPSST within 72 hours of the observation. In addition, the bill provides for a reporting requirement of “a violation of the minimum standards for physical, emotional, intellectual and moral fitness for public safety personnel.”
HB2936 – Restrictions on police officer speech (1/1/2022)
Law enforcement agencies must now “adopt polices” that “set standards for speech and expression by officers in and outside the course and scope of employment.” Such policies must apply to all forms of speech and expression, “including but not limited tofilm video, print media, public and private speech and use of Internet services.” However, the adopted policies “may not violate the constitutional rights to free speech and expression.”
ADDITIONAL POLICE RELATED BILLS WORTHY OF NOTE
HB2162 – Police Accreditation and Equity Training (9/25/2021)
This bill requires police agencies with 35 officers or more to become accredited through an accrediting body determined by the state. The legislation also requires the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards & Training (DPSST) to develop an equity training program for police and other certified public safety professionals. Police agencies with 100 or more officers must become accredited by July 1, 2025, and agencies with 35-99 officers must meet this standard by July 1, 2026.
HB2513 – CPR Training (1/1/2022)
HB2513 requires all certified police officers and reserve officers to receive three (3) hours of CPR and airway maintenance training, and thereafter receive at least two hours of such training in each maintenance training period. Additionally, when an officer encounters a restrained person suffering a respiratory or cardiac compromise, the officer is now required to immediately request emergency medical service if it is tactically feasible to make such a request and the officer has access to communications.
HB3145 – Police Discipline Reporting (1/1/2022)
This bill requires police agencies to report misconduct findings that result in economic discipline to DPSST.
HB3355 – Crowd Control Identification (1/1/2022)
HB 3355 requires police officers on duty and working crowd control in cities with a population of 60,000 or more to have the first initial and last name or unique identifying number legible on their front and back when engaged in crowd control activities. The requirement would apply to a smaller city that provides officers to a larger city that meets the population threshold through mutual aid.