Oregon Minimum Wage Laws
Definition of minimum wage.
The Oregon Minimum wage is the lowest hourly rate that a non-exempt employee may be paid by their employer. Oregon’s wage and hour laws charge the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries with the duty of setting the exact amount of Oregon’s minimum wage each year. BOLI Poster.
What is the Oregon minimum wage rate?
Oregon minimum wage rate varies by the year in which the hours were worked. The chart below sets out the Oregon Minimum wage rate by year it must be paid.
Oregon Minimum Wage Rate By Year
Date Oregon Minimum Wage Date Oregon Minimum Wage
2003 $6.90 2004 $7.05
2004 $7.05 2005 $7.25
2006 $7.50 2007 $7.80
2008 $7.95 2009 $8.40
2010 $8.40 2011 $8.50
2012 $8.80 2013 $8.95
2014 $9.10 2015 $9.25
2016 $9.25 (Through June when new system started)
In July 2016, Oregon set up a two tier minimum wage rate system. For urban areas, currently defined as the Portland metropolitan area, a higher minimum wage rate exists. For other areas called nonurban, a lower but increasing rate exists.
Date Portland Minimum Wage Nonurban Minimum Wage
July 1, 2016 $9.75 $9.50
July 1, 2017 $11.25 $10.00
July 1, 2018 $12.00 $10.50
July 1, 2019 $12.50 $11.00
July 1, 2020 $13.25 $11.50
July 1, 2021 $14.00 $12.00
July 1, 2022 $14.75 $12.50
Is the federal minimum wage rate different than Oregon’s minimum wage rate?
Yes. Oregon’s minimum wage rate is higher than the federal minimum wage rate under the FLSA. (Fair Labor Standards Act). The FLSA minimum wage rate by year is:
Date FLSA Minimum Wage Rate
Do I sue under federal minimum wage (FLSA) or Oregon’s minimum wage laws?
Every Oregon employer, with very minor exemptions that rarely apply, must pay the higher Oregon minimum wage rate. This increases the likelihood that it is better for an employee to sue under Oregon’s minimum wage laws. In addition, when the minimum wage violation is small, the civil penalty for violating Oregon’s minimum wage law can be very beneficial to the employee. Most employers must also pay the minimum wage rate under the FLSA. To be entitled to minimum wages under the FLSA, the employer or the employee must meet certain requirements. Since most do, I do not address them here. Despite the fact that Oregon has a higher minimum wage rate, sometimes it is still better to bring a minimum wage claim under the FLSA instead of an Oregon minimum wage claim, or to bring both the federal and Oregon minimum wage claim in the same lawsuit. The best way to determine which claim is better in your case is to discuss it with a wage and hour attorney at Schuck Law. For illustrative purposes, here are some considerations. Under federal minimum wage law, when an employer does not pay minimum wages, the employee can recover liquidated damages. The liquidated damages are calculated as an amount equal to the unpaid minimum wages. This figure, depending upon the number of hours worked and the length of time worked, could exceed the civil penalty allowed by Oregon law. Another consideration is that the FLSA allows the employee to sue managers, owners, and other controlling personnel in the correct instances. There are ways to do this under Oregon law, but they are not as clear and defined as the law under the federal minimum wage laws of the FLSA. There are also questions of whether a federal or state forum is better to bring the minimum wage claim. After these and other considerations are taken into account, the wage and hour lawyers at Schuck Law can help you determine whether to bring an FLSA minimum wage claim, an Oregon minimum wage claim or both. The wage and hour attorneys can also help determine the best court (also called forum) to bring your minimum wage claim.
What if my employer pays me less than the minimum wage rate?
You have an Oregon minimum wage claim for the amount of unpaid minimum wages, and for an Oregon minimum wage civil penalty. The Oregon minimum wage civil penalty is equal to eight hours of wages for each day your employer is late paying your minimum wages. (The minimum wage penalty is limited to 30 days). For example: The Oregon minimum wage rate in 2015 is $9.25 per hour. The maximum minimum wage penalty for this time period was $2,220.00. ($9.25 * 8 * 30 = $2,220). Further, you could sue under the FLSA for liquidated damages in the amount of the unpaid minimum wages.
My Oregon boss didn’t pay me on time, what can I do?
Under Oregon wage and hour law, all your wages are due on payday. If your Oregon boss didn’t pay all wages on time, payday, you could have an Oregon unpaid wages claim and an Oregon minimum wage claim. Because all your wages, including the required Oregon minimum wages, were due on payday, you could have both claims. The Oregon minimum wage claim includes an the potential to receive an Oregon minimum wage civil penalty. The Oregon minimum wage civil penalty is equal to eight hours of wages for each day your employer is late paying your minimum wages. (The minimum wage penalty is limited to 30 days). For example: The Oregon minimum wage rate in 2015 is $9.25 per hour. The maximum minimum wage penalty for this time period was $2,220.00. ($9.25 * 8 * 30 = $2,220). You could also sue for liquidated damages in the amount of the unpaid minimum wages under the FLSA.
In addition to the Oregon minimum wage claim, if your employment has ended, you may be entitled to an Oregon Late Pay Wage Claim. This could entitle you to penalty wages in addition the the minimum wages earned and the minimum wage civil penalty where all minimum wages were not paid timely upon termination. The late pay penalty wages are calculated the same as the Oregon minimum wage penalty. Thus, an employee’s late pay penalty wages also cap at $2,220.00. If you were due a rate greater than minimum wage, but had a minimum wage claim because little or no wages were paid, your penalty could be greater. The formula is (hourly rate * 8 hours per day * 30 days maximum). So at $9.25 per hour, the maximum penalty would be $2,220.00.
Wage Claim Attorneys.
The Oregon wage claim attorneys (lawyers) at Schuck Law, LLC focus their law practice on Oregon wage claim lawsuits. Our Oregon wage claim lawyers (attorneys) regularly prosecute Oregon minimum wage claim lawsuits for employees who were not paid all their minimum wages. In addition to the claims for minimum wages, civil penalties, and liquidated damages outlined above, an employee may also sue to recover their costs, disbursements, and lawyer fees incurred in prosecution of the minimum wage claim lawsuit. This allows the Oregon wage claim attorneys (lawyers) at Schuck Law, LLC to take most minimum wage claim lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This means, with minor exceptions that are within your control, that our Oregon wage claim lawyers only get paid their attorney fees if they recover your minimum wages, liquidated damages, or minimum wage civil penalty for you.
The Oregon wage claim attorneys (lawyers) at Schuck Law, LLC prosecute Oregon minimum wage claims and FLSA minimum wage claims throughout Oregon, including but not limited to, Portland, Astoria, Beaverton, Portland, Bend, Clackamas, Coos Bay, Portland, Grants Pass, Hillsboro, Portland, Hood River, Klamath Falls, Portland, Lincoln City, Madras, Portland, McMinnville, Medford, Portland, Sandy, St. Helens, Portland, and Tillamook.
Google By David Schuck