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Changes in Oregon Law

Acker + Associates P.C. Newsletter



From minimum wages to wolves to weed bankers, the following changes to Oregon law took effect on or before January 1, 2017.

Minimum Wages
Oregon’s minimum wage is increasing, but leave it to the legislature to make it complicated. Not only is it increasing in stages but it varies depending on where one works in Oregon. One rate applies within the urban growth boundary of the Portland Metropolitan Area, another to 18 designated non-urban counties, and then another for the rest of the state. If you live in Portland, you can expect the minimum wage to increase from $9.75 to $14.75 over the next six years. The bill also requires employees to provide additional information on itemized pay stubs and to maintain employee time and pay records.

Do not attach a gun to your drone, and be careful where you fly it. It is now illegal to weaponize a drone or operate it over a power station, chemical plant, dam, or prison.

Gray Wolves
Wolves beware. They were removed from Oregon’s endangered species list (although they are still listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act).

Death & Digital Assets
Estate law now recognizes the importance of digital assets (online banking, Facebook and email accounts, photos stored on the cloud, etc.). Access to these accounts, when a user dies, is no longer limited to the companies that store these assets. Users can now dictate who shall have access to their accounts upon death. They can either use an online tool provided by the company or designate someone in their estate planning documents. (As an example of an online tool, Facebook allows users to designate “legacy contacts” to manage their accounts after they die.) A personal representative or other fiduciary can now also apply to the court to acquire access to digital assets.

Marijuana & Financial Service Industries
Despite the legalization of marijuana, financial institutions faced possible criminal conspiracy charges for providing financial services to those involved in the industry. Oregon now exempts, under Oregon criminal laws, most financial institutions that provide financial services to such marijuana businesses. In addition, state agencies are now required to provide certain documentation on marijuana businesses to financial institutions to help them comply with federal requirements.

Rent Increase Limits
Landlords of residential month-to-month tenancies can no longer raise rent during the first year of the tenancy. In addition, they must provide a 90-day notice prior to any rent increase after the first year.