Oregon Employment Law

Oregon employment law is governed by both state law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Such laws establish the minimum wage rate for employees, including overtime pay and other wage laws. Oregon’s current minimum wage, as of 2016, is $9.75 an hour. However, the Portland metro area and nonurban counties have a different wage rate. Therefore, if you live in an area that provides a higher minimum wage, then you are entitled to the higher rate.

Overtime Pay

If you are an employee who doesn’t work at least 80 percent of the time in an administrative, professional, executive, or sales capacity, then you have rights to overtime compensation. If an employee is in fact entitled to overtime pay, the employer must pay at a rate of 1.5 times the regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Other types of employees who are exempt from receiving overtime pay include those working on a small farm or in the production of livestock, certain student workers, babysitters, and elderly companions.

Discrimination Rules

Under federal law, employers cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or genetic makeup. Employers with a minimum of 15 employees are subject to such laws; however, for age discrimination, the employer must employ at least 20 employees. Such laws forbid employers from discriminating throughout the hiring process, from the job description and interview process to pay, performance reviews, promotions, and termination.

In Oregon, employees have an extra level of protection from discrimination based on the Civil Rights Davison of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and industries (BOLI):

  • Marital status
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual preference
  • Being a victim of domestic violence
  • Being a parent with a court-mandated medical support order
  • Refusing to attend a work-sponsored meeting that communicates the employer’s religious or political views

Harassment is also another unwelcome workplace conduct, whether it be harassment from a colleague or manager. Such harassment can come in a variety of ways, including sexual harassment or harassment based on disability, religion, or other protected traits. Furthermore, another type of harassment could be retaliation on the part of the employer due to an employee complaint. Such retaliation includes discipline, terminating, or taking any other type of negative action against the employee. This type of conduct is illegal,and protected by both federal and state law.

Other Important Rules and Requirements

  • Certain industries, including canneries, factories, and packing plants are required to provide overtime pay for working more than 10 hours in a day.
  • County, city, and school district workers should collect overtime after working in excess of eight hours a day.
  • Underground miners cannot work more than eight hours within a 24-hour period.
  • Police officers, firefighters, and those working in hospitals, residential care centers, and nursing facilities have unique overtime rules.
  • Employers must pay employees for time prepping to do the job. This can include changing into protective gear to do the job.
  • Employers must pay for finishing up the workday, which can include cleaning your workstation before leaving work.
  • Employers must pay for required training and other work-related meetings and events.
  • If you are on-call, you will only be paid for time actually worked.
  • Traveling time to/from work is generally not paid. However, if an employee is traveling for business, the days worked will be paid.
  • Oregon doesn’t require double time or holiday overtime pay. However, you may be entitled to such pay depending on the company’s policy.
  • Oregon law requires employers to provide employees with at least a 30-minute unpaid meal break for working a continuous six hours or more; however, the meal break is not required if the employee works less than six hours in a day.
  • Oregon law requires employers to pay employees 18 years of age and older with a paid 10-minute break for every four continuous hours worked.
  • Oregon employers must provide employees under the age of 18 with 15-minute breaks for every four continuous hours worked in a given day.
  • Oregon employers have no requirement to provide employees with a severance package upon separation from the employer.

If you need help learning more about your rights and responsibilities as an Oregon employer or employee, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.