Today, the Lane County Board of Commissioners passed three ordinances limiting the ability of local jurisdictions within Lane County to enforce rules governing labor relationships between employers and employees. Two of the three ordinances, 14-04 and 14-05 passed unanimously with Commissioner Pete Sorenson absent. The third, 14-06, passed with support from three of the four commissioners present, with Board Chair Pat Farr voting against the ordinance. Prior to discussing the proposed ordinances, the Board heard testimony from community members throughout the County.
Ordinance 14-04: Exempts any unit of local government (city, county, district, etc.) located in Lane County from any other unit of local government’s regulations that may require a change in the terms or conditions of employment for its employees. This ordinance does not prohibit a unit of local government from adopting regulations related to conditions of employment for its own employees.
Ordinance 14-05: Exempts any employer (government, nonprofit, business, etc.) located in Lane County, but outside a city, who does business within the city limits, from a city’s regulations that may require a change in the terms and conditions of employment for its employees. The ordinance does not prohibit private employers from adopting regulations that relate to terms and conditions of employment for its own employees.
Ordinance 14-06: Exempts any employer (both public and private) that has employees located in Lane County from any regulation adopted by any unit of local government located in Lane County that requires any change in terms and conditions of employment for any employer and its employees.
None of the three ordinances impacts any unit of local government or any private business from entering into any type of agreement concerning the terms and conditions of its employees. Also, none of the ordinances changes any existing agreements between any government entity or business and its employees.
“I greatly appreciate the testimony and input we heard from the community the last two weeks,” said Farr. “We heard from people from all over the community on this issue and the proposed ordinances. While we may seem like we are moving ahead of the Eugene City Council’s action on sick leave, these three ordinances were more about Lane County’s home rule authority. I look forward to working together with the City of Eugene on the many important issues that we are working on together such as the Poverty and Homeless Commission, the Downtown Farmers’ Market and Envision Eugene to name just a few. These ordinances shouldn’t get in the way of the partnerships that we value.”
All of the ordinances will go into effect immediately. Commissioner Sorenson was traveling and absent from today’s discussion and votes on the three ordinances. The Board of Commissioners moved to have the discussion and votes today, prior to possible passage of a Eugene ordinance later tonight governing paid sick leave.