There were several new statewide laws passed in the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session that went into effect as of January 1, 2020 or earlier this year. The following are some of the more frequently asked bills related to hospitality businesses.
Plastic Straws on Request
SB 90 prohibits food and beverage providers or convenience stores from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless consumers specifically request single-use plastic straws. Although ORLA opposed this bill, we were able to gain concessions such as allowing for employees to offer drive-thru customers a plastic straw rather than requiring them to ask for one. After notice for a first and second violation, subsequent violations may include a fine of "not more than $25 for each day in which the food and beverage provider... remains in violation... The enforcement officer may not impose total fines of more than $300 during a calendar year." Read the specific bill language on SB 90.
FAQs on plastic straws:
Plastic Bag Ban
HB 2509B prohibits retail establishments from providing single-use checkout bags to customers, except in certain cases. ORLA opposed this bill to ban all plastic checkout bags from restaurants, grocery stores and other establishments. Violations carry a maximum fine of $250 with one occurrence per day maximum. Enforcement officers are those who conduct inspections on behalf of your local government or regulating state agency, and may determine compliance during these inspections. Read the specific bill language on HB 2509.
FAQs on Plastic Bags:
Some cities in Oregon have already instituted plastic bag bans. This new law “generally preempts, or overrides, any existing local checkout bag policy." Local governments cannot have different restrictions from the statewide law in their local policy, but could require a higher fee and impose a penalty other than the penalty established under HB 2509—but a restaurant or retail store can only be charged with a violation under either the local provision or HB 2509.
Commercial Activities Tax
The new Commercial Activity Tax is imposed only after a taxpayer exceeds $1 million of taxable commercial activity. Once they pass that threshold, the tax is $250 plus 0.57% on gross receipts greater than $1 million after subtractions. Draft rules have been released by the Department of Revenue, including estimated payments and filing extensions. The Department of Revenue intends to release a series of draft rules through March, with the permanent rulemaking process beginning on April 1, 2020. The tax begins on January 1, 2020. It includes all business entity types, including C and S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, etc. Read more on the CAT, timelines, and other resources.
Accommodations for Pregnancy Related Conditions
The Oregon Legislature recently passed House Bill 2341 (2019) which provides additional employee protections related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition, including lactation. Read more at Oregon.gov/boli.
As of Oct. 1, 2020, regular Oregon driver’s licenses will no longer be valid to board a commercial flight, or do other activities where a federally approved form of identification is required. Should someone choose not to upgrade to a Real ID, a standard Oregon driver’s licenses will still be good for activities, such as driving, purchasing alcohol, registering to vote or applying for benefits.
Questions? If you have additional questions on these or other new laws, contact Nicole Peterson, Government Affairs Coordinator, at 503.320.9823.