SB 853A Bans out-of-state commuting reimbursement

VOTE: YES – Died In Committee
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This bill as Amended prohibits state payment of travel costs to and from Oregon for state employees who telecommute from a principal work site located more than sixty miles from border of Oregon unless authorized under terms of a collective bargaining agreement. SB 853 A provides an exemption for telecommuting employees whose position necessitates them working from a principal work site outside of Oregon.

Current policy states that “employees who work under the full-time remote work model must be reimbursed by the agency for travel to and from the central workplace.” The policy allows state workers to work remotely from another states and have their travel to Oregon reimbursed using taxpayer dollars.

While businesses have ordered their workers back, thousands of state employees still work from home, and hundreds live and work out-of-state. When workers need to be at a meeting or in the office for other reasons, Oregon taxpayers cover the cost for their commute.

Oregon has 7,691 state employees teleworking, and 500 more work remotely out-of-state and 300 of them live in distant states. They report that Oregon Department of Human Services has spent $4,000 in the first 9 months of 2022 to bring their 157 workers in from another state.

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