Weekday Wrap: Oregon state employees sue over payroll system problems

By OPB staff (OPB)
Feb. 23, 2023 9:57 p.m.

Stories you may have missed from staff reports and our news partners around the region.

Frustrations with a new payroll system for state employees leads to class-action lawsuit

A proposed class-action lawsuit claims thousands of state of Oregon employees have been incorrectly paid since the state implemented a payroll system in December. The lawsuit alleges that the state should have known before implementing the new payroll system that employees would be systemically underpaid. That system, called Workday, went live Dec. 1, replacing a system built in the 1980s. The first paychecks were issued Jan. 3. “It’s beyond frustrating, especially for our lower-wage workers that already are not making a livable wage,” said Andrea Kennedy-Smith, a paralegal for the state’s Child Welfare Services and president of SEIU Local 503, OPEU Local 200, which represents Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority employees. (Tracy Loew/Salem Statesman Journal)

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Owner of Goonies house engages in outreach efforts

Behman Zakeri, an entrepreneur from Overland Park, Kansas, closed on a $1.65 million purchase of the home in January, which was made famous by the 1985 movie “The Goonies.” His childhood best friend, Michael Eakin, purchased the home next door. Since then, neighborhood frustrations about traffic, illegal parking and bad behavior by some visitors have bubbled to the surface. On Tuesday night, the two men and an attorney told Astoria’s City Council they’ve been meeting with the community to address those concerns. Some residents haven’t been won over. “This isn’t a house that needs a manager, an attorney and another community coordinator and a Goonies trash pickup day,” said Megan Hodges, who lives next door to the house. “Astoria is fine.” (Nicole Bales/The Astorian)

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Eugene company to resume electric vehicle production

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Arcimoto announced Tuesday it will resume electric vehicle production at its Eugene factory and will offer a new model of its three-wheel motorcycle this spring. The announcement came after the Oregonian/OregonLive reported last month that the company had shut down production at its factory, claiming it was nearly out of money and facing bankruptcy. That news had followed tumult last year as the company hired a new CEO in the summer, and then in October laid off 49 employees and furloughed 66 more. The new CEO, Jesse Fittipaldi, said the company is focusing on sales, improving quality, reducing manufacturing costs and increasing its branding efforts. (Makenzie Elliott/Eugene Register-Guard)

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New project aims to study sea level rise on the North Coast

The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, along with Clatsop County and Cannon Beach, plans to host a series of public workshops in March to begin a two-year project exploring ways to address the impacts of sea level rise in the region. Information gathered at the workshops will help identify what is at risk and priorities moving forward as communities develop action plans. While the rates of sea level rise are slower in Oregon than in other parts of the country, according to the state, the coast is experiencing sea level rise every year. Sea level rise in Oregon is expected to lead to higher tide levels, more dramatic king tides, increased coastal flooding and erosion and increased tsunami risk. (Nicole Bales/The Astorian)

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Harney Basin groundwater restrictions considered but are years away

The Oregon Water Resources Department plans to assemble a local rules advisory committee, in which the state water regulators are considering whether to impose restrictions on groundwater pumping in the Harney Basin, though any changes would still take years before they are implemented on the ground. Critical groundwater areas may be established to address groundwater supply, quality or thermal issues, according to the Oregon Water Resources Department. (George Plaven/Capital Press)

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Stories you may have missed from staff reports and our news partners around the region.
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