Oregon Wage Deduction Limitations
Generally Oregon law limits the deductions employers can take from the wages of its employees. Generally speaking, if it is not taxes, garnishments, or voluntary payments for the benefit of the employee, little else can be deducted. The specific details can be found in ORS 652.610 subsection three. ORS Ch. 652. In addition to limiting what may be deducted from an employee’s paycheck, the statute also requires that the employer track the payment and inform the employee of the reason for the deduction. The simple fact that the paycheck does not correctly show the deduction may be enough to make an otherwise lawful deduction unlawful.
Whether or not a deduction is unlawful can be a huge difference in the value of a wage claim to the employee. When an employer unlawfully deducts wages, the employee is due the greater of $200 or damages. Usually the damages are the amount of the deduction, but could be the value of any loss to the employee. For instance, if the employer deducts medical payments from the employee’s wages, but does not purchase medical insurance for the employee, the employee may be in a position to argue that the cost of medical appointments or procedures are their damages. Damages could also arguably include bounced check fees, late payment fees on loans, or any other damage sustained as a result of the unlawful deduction.
More often than not, the amount of the deduction is the damage. However, this is not the only wage and hour laws that the unlawful wage deduction likely causes. For instance, if the employee works at or near minimum wage, the wage deduction may cause the employee to be paid less than minimum wage. This may entitle the employee to a civil penalty under Oregon wage and hour laws. Minimum Wage Page. The Oregon minimum wage civil penalty can equal a maximum of 30 days of wages.
Another Oregon wage and hour law that may be violated by an unlawful deduction is the failure to pay all wages timely upon the ending of employment. Under ORS 652.140, an employer must pay all final wages at the end of employment within a specific time period depending upon how the employment ended. Late Pay Page. Like the minimum wage civil penalty, where an employer fails to pay final wages timely, the employee is due up to 30 days of penalty wages. The penalty wages are calculated by multiplying the regular hourly rate by 8 hours per day for up to 30 days. So an employee earning $15 per hour could receive up to $3,600 for the late payment wage claim under Oregon law.
Google By David Schuck