SALEM, OREGON – On April 9, 2009, the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the Oregon Workplace Religious Freedom Act (SB 786). House Speaker Dave Hunt, Bureau of Labor and Industry director Brad Avakian, and Senator David Nelson led the testimony in favor of the bill followed by Northwest Religious Liberty Association president Gregory Hamilton, attorney Michael D. Peabody, and two employees who would benefit from SB 786, David Miller and Shani Balverio. Willamette College of Law professor Steven Green, former general counsel for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, also testified on behalf of SB 786.
SB 786 would clarify the definition of the term “undue hardship” and provide a series of factors that employers can apply in determining whether or not they can honor an employee’s request for religious accommodation in the areas of holy day observance and religious dress requirements.
This is an effort that has been spearheaded for the past few years by the Northwest Religious Liberty Association president Gregory Hamilton.