State BOLI office hasn’t been open to public

By Cheri Helt for BOLI,

Cheri Helt, candidate for Commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), today announced that, upon taking office, she would initiate an internal review of BOLI performance and practices and request the Oregon Secretary of State conduct an outside audit of the agency.

Oregon’s newspapers have exposed BOLI’s failed investigations into racial discrimination complaints and and suits against the agency for racial discrimination. This can not be tolerated.

“On my first day as Commissioner, I will order a comprehensive review of BOLI’s performance and practices. The results of that review will be made public. I will also ask the Oregon Secretary of State to audit BOLI. I will take these steps to improve transparency, and identify the department’s failures as well as successes. BOLI desperately needs to regain the trust of Oregonians,” Helt said.

BOLI offices are currently closed to the public (please see above photo taken March 25, 2022 of the Eugene BOLI office). Inquiries made by the Helt campaign elicited a response from a BOLI employee that the offices were scheduled to open May 1, 2022. Meanwhile, BOLI’s website explains:

“Currently, the Civil Rights Division has a high volume of questionnaires waiting to be assigned to an intake officer. Please be sure that you have entered the date of the most recent adverse action as accurately as possible and have filled out all fields in the questionnaire to the best of your ability. Please contact us if there are any significant changes related to your case. Your inquiry is important to us, we thank you for your patience.”

“Oregonians deserve an office that is open and efficient, not one that is closed and making excuses,” helt said. “BOLI is letting down employees, employers and, most importantly, Oregon taxpayers. I will fix this troubled agency.”