Oregon Labor Laws

Updated: 03/06/2020

Oregon Minimum Wage

As of July 1, 2019, the minimum wage in Oregon is $11.25 per hour, with $12.50 per hour for the Portland metro area and $11.00 per hour in non-urban counties. Increases are considered annually and effective each July.

USA map with Oregon superimposed

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History of Oregon Labor Laws

Oregon has a strong history of labor appreciation, labor standards enforcement, and supporting workers in employment law with many firsts in employment law.

  • In 1887, Oregon declared the first Labor Day in the U.S., seven years before the national Labor Day declaration.
  • The state led the nation with its creation of the State Board of Conciliation and Arbitration in 1919 to handle labor disagreements.
  • Oregon’s first enforceable wage and labor law was the first in the United States and set a standard for other states to follow.
  • Oregon took early action on discrimination based on color in 1949.

More recently, Oregon has continued its strong stance on worker protections with several new pieces of legislation. These new laws require employers to offer sick leave (both paid and unpaid in some cases), forbidding employers to ask about criminal history on employment applications, increasing restrictions on non-compete contracts, and adding protections for workers’ social media postings.

Municipality Minimum Wage Laws

Oregon doesn’t allow cities to set independent minimum wages, instead addressing the issue with a three-tiered system that accounts for the Portland metro area, urban Oregon, and rural Oregon areas.

Urban Oregon

Urban Oregon is considered any area not specifically carved out as the Portland metro area or a non-urban county.

The urban Oregon minimum wage is usually referred to as the standard minimum wage for the state.

As of July 1, 2019, the standard minimum wage rate is $11.25 per hour and will increase by 75 cents each year through July 2022.

Starting in July 2023, there will be an annual minimum wage increase evaluation using a formula tied to the Consumer Price Index rate. Those CPI-tied rate changes will continue annually from that point on barring future legislative changes.

Portland Metro

The Portland metro area minimum wage applies to employers within the designated urban growth boundary (UGB) of Portland.

Oregon provides a map lookup tool and a static map of the UGB for employers online.

To account for higher costs of living, the minimum wage in the Portland metro area is $12.50 per hour as of July 1, 2019, and will increase annually by 75 cents per hour through 2022.

Starting July 2023, the Portland metro rate will be set at $1.25 per hour more than the standard Oregon rate and will adjust each year as the Oregon standard rate adjusts.

While Portland is the only city with a metropolitan service district as of 2019, the legislation allows for this metro minimum wage to be applied to other cities should they be designated as metropolitan service districts.

Non-Urban Counties

Oregon lists 18 counties as designated non-urban counties.

The minimum wage rate for these counties is $11.00 per hour as of July 1, 2019.

As with the other minimum wage increases, it will increase each July until 2023. However, the rate is increasing by 50 cents per hour during that time instead of the 75 cents per hour elsewhere.

As of July 2023, the rate will be set at $1 per hour less than the standard Oregon minimum wage and adjust each July accordingly.

As of 2016 legislation, the counties included as non-urban counties are Baker, Klamath, Coos, Lake, Crook, Malheur, Curry, Morrow, Douglas, Sherman, Gilliam, Umatilla, Grant, Union, Harney, Wallowa, Jefferson, and Wheeler.

Oregon Minimum Wage Law Exemptions

Other than those classified as exempt under federal law, Oregon does exempt certain job types from minimum wage laws and overtime wage laws. A few other classifications are only exempt from overtime wage laws. However, minors and trainees are not exempt from the minimum wage.

List of selected jobs exempt from minimum wage and overtime laws in Oregon:

  • Certain agricultural employees
  • Rage-production of livestock workers
  • In-home childcare workers
  • Casual basis domestic workers serving in a family home
  • Some administrative, executive, and professional workers
  • U. S. Government employees
  • Students of primary or secondary education facilities who are employed by those same facilities
  • Outside salespersons
  • Taxi drivers
  • Management and maintenance employees of multi-unit dwelling areas living on-site
  • Seasonal camp workers (income limits on the camps apply)
  • Employees of non-profit conference areas operating for charitable, nonprofit, or religious purposes
  • Volunteer firefighters
  • Companion workers for elderly, disabled, and infirm persons in their homes
  • Some on-site resident managers of licensed adult foster care homes
  • Inmates
  • Some volunteer resident public campground hosts

Oregon Posting Requirements

In addition to the federally required labor law posters, Oregon requires specific posters depending on the size of the employer.

Employers with fewer than 25 employees must post information on several topics. These topics include:

  • Oregon State Minimum Wage
  • Oregon OSHA
  • Oregon Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence, Harassment, Sexual Assault & Stalking
  • Federal Minimum Wage poster
  • "EEO is the Law"
  • Federal Polygraph Protection
  • Federal USERRA (military rights)
  • Equal pay

Employers with 25 or more employees must also post the Oregon family leave act and federal FMLA information. Further, agricultural employers have additional poster requirements.

Federally Required Posters

  • Minimum Wage
  • Family Leave
  • Domestic Violence and the Workplace
  • Safety and Health Protection on the Job
  • Pregnancy Accommodations
  • Sick Time
  • Equal Pay
  • No Smoking Sign
  • Workers' Compensation (Must be obtained from the State)
  • Unemployment Insurance (Must be obtained from the State)

Additional Posters

  • Agricultural Labor Laws

Tipped Wage in Oregon

Oregon requires that nonexempt employees be paid applicable minimum wage regardless of tips received.

Employers can not claim a tip credit or otherwise reduce the hourly wage paid to tipped employees based on tips received or estimated.

As of July 2019, the minimum wage in Oregon is $11.25, with exceptions for non-urban counties set at $11 per hour and the Portland metro area set at $12.50 per hour. These rates will rise on July 1 of each year.

While some states allow employers to deduct credit card processing charges from tips received on credit cards, Oregon wage law does not address this issue (neither allowing or disallowing this practice).

Oregon does not have a separate tip pool labor law and relies on federal law to regulate tip pools. Likewise, Oregon does not reject the federally allowed practice of mandatory fees being added to bills (such as a large party at a restaurant) with the fee going to the employer, not the employee. In an effort to somewhat curb this practice (as it has the potential to confuse customers and result in lower tips being left for servers), the IRS added incentives for employers to discontinue it in 2014.

Overtime Wage in Oregon

Oregon requires overtime pay of 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Salaried workers (those receiving a flat salary rate and not an hourly rate), are not automatically exempt from overtime pay and must be classified based on federal and state definitions of an exempt employee. The regular rate of pay is an average per hour rate and must not be below minimum wage after allowed adjustments such as holiday pay, premium Saturday pay, or gifts.

Oregon considers overtime to be any time worked over 40 hours in one workweek.

Employers are not allowed to combine workweeks to count hours worked in a two-week, 80-hour period. However, there are no restrictions on daily hours worked with regard to overtime calculations except for employees of government agencies, manufacturing facilities, canneries and some hospital employees.

Some industries, minor workers and specific jobs may have other daily work limits unrelated to overtime pay.

Normal pay rates apply until the 40-hour threshold in a workweek is reached. Overtime pay is not required for holidays.

Overtime rules vary for employees of government agencies, manufacturing facilities, canneries and some hospital employees. Specific manufacturing (some industries are exempted) and cannery jobs may require overtime pay after 10 hours are worked on any one day.

Furthermore since August 2017 facilities have been required to compare daily and weekly overtime for each employee and to use the method that results in the most pay.

It is important to note that time worked off the clock, even if “voluntary,” may be counted toward overtime. Oregon may consider start-of-day and end-of-day duties such as setting up a register or cleaning the work area as eligible toward overtime calculations in some cases.

Child Labor Laws in Oregon

Concerning employment law and child labor laws, Oregon considers anyone under age 18 to be a minor.

In September 1995, Oregon did away with a requirement that anyone under 18 obtain an individual work permit and simplified the process for employers to obtain annual employment certificates to hire minors. Employers are still required to verify the age of minors before hiring them.

Minors under age 14 are generally barred from working in Oregon with few exceptions (generally agricultural) including minors as young as 12 being allowed to pick crops, provided their parents also work on the same farm and other restrictions are met.

Oregon treats minors the same way adults are treated in most Oregon labor laws. Minors fall under the same minimum wage, overtime wage laws, workers’ comp, rest break rules, and other requirements.

However, nonprofit youth camps fall under different minimum wage-and-hour limit rules. Nonprofit youth camps are not covered under minimum wage or overtime wage laws.

Minors are not covered by state age discrimination laws but are otherwise eligible for protections under other state and federal discrimination laws and anti-harassment employment laws such as protections against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Minors are also protected from shift cancellation to a degree. If a minor arrives to work and then their shift is canceled, they are due half of the shift’s pay or one hour of pay, whichever is more.

Specific jobs deemed hazardous are prohibited to minors with the rare exception of a few work experience or student-learner programs. 16- and 17-year-olds are subject to fewer hazardous-basis restrictions than 14- and 15-year-olds. For example, 16- and 17-year-olds could operate a powered lawn mower, but a 14- or 15-year-old might be prohibited.

All minors, except for a few specific agricultural situations, are barred from driving on public roads for work, such as to make deliveries.

Employer Recordkeeping Requirements

In addition to federal employment record requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other acts, Oregon requires employers to keep certain employee time records.

Oregon requires records of all hours worked for a period of no less than two years or longer if required by federal law. Further, certain information must be included in pay records, specifically on pay stubs.

This information includes (but may not be limited to) the following:

  • The name of the employee
  • Address and identifier of the employer
  • Date of pay
  • Dates covered by the pay
  • Day rate
  • Gross and net pay
  • Deduction amounts and reasons (itemized)
  • Any allowances claimed
  • Itemization of how pay is calculated (such as hours at regular pay and hours at overtime pay).

Recent Oregon Labor Law Updates

Pregnancy Accommodations - Mandatory - December 2019

New posting requirement. Effective January 1, 2020, under HB 2341, employers with six or more employees will also need to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with pregnancy related conditions. Employers are required post signs in a conspicuous and accessible location informing employees of these new discrimination protections and their right to reasonable accommodation for known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth and pregnancy related medical conditions, including but not limited to lactation.

Minimum Wage - Mandatory - June 2019

The Oregon Minimum Wage poster has been updated to reflect an increase in the minimum wage. The minimum wage will increase to $12.50 per hour inside the Portland Metro area, $11.00 per hour in nonurban counties, and $11.25 per hour in the remainder of the state effective July 1, 2019.

Minimum Wage - Mandatory - June 2018

The Oregon Minimum Wage poster has been updated to reflect an increase in the minimum wage. The minimum wage will increase to $12.00 per hour inside the Portland Metro area, $10.50 per hour in non-urban counties, and $10.75 per hour in the remainder of the state effective July 1, 2018.

Equal Pay Law - Mandatory - April 2018

The Oregon Equal Pay Law poster has been released by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. The new law prohibits any employer from asking for applicants' salary history, expands the state's existing equal pay provisions, and extends existing remedies available to employees.

Oregon Labor Law Frequently-Asked Questions

Oregon Combined Federal and State Kit plus Update Service

Have all of your state and federal required posters updated whenever the laws change.