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 Minimum Wage 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
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 three tier minimum wage rate system. For urban areas, currently defined as the Portland metropolitan
area, a higher minimum wage rate exists. Different minimum rates apply for “standard” and “nonurban” areas. To determine your minimum wage rate,
you can contact Schuck Law. Alternatively, you can look at BOLI’s website to determine your minimum wage rate. Note that the minimum wage rates increase each year.
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
Date Standard Minimum Wage
July 1, 2016 $9.75
July 1, 2017 $10.25
July 1, 2018 $10.75
July 1, 2019 $11.25
July 1, 2020 $12.00
July 1, 2021 $12.75
July 1, 2022 $13.50.
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 employees are entitled to federal minimum wages, I do not address the employer/employee requirements under the federal minimum wage laws 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 your potential minimum wage claim with a wage and hour lawyer 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 for a federal minimum wage claim are calculated to be 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 an FLSA minimum wage claim allows the employee to sue managers, owners, and other controlling personnel in the correct instances. An example where this may be important is where the company is having financial difficulties, but the owner is wealthy. 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 minimum wage claim is better to be brought in federal or state court. If no federal minimum wage claim is filed, then it most likely will be in state court. If you file a federal minimum wage claim, but file the case in state court, the employer may be able to move you to a federal court. Deciding which court is better place to bring the minimum wage claim can be very fact specific and difficult. 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 in Portland, Oregon post July 1, 2018 is $12.00 per hour. The maximum minimum wage penalty for this time period was $2,880.00. ($12.00 * 8 * 30 = $2,880). 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 for employees not working in the Portland Metropolitan area and who are not located in the designated nonurban areas, are paid the standard rate. For post July 1, 2017, the standard minimum wage rate is $10.75 per hour. The maximum minimum wage penalty for this time period at the standard minimum wage rate is $2,580.00. ($10.75 * 8 * 30 = $2,580). 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 penalty wages by filing 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 using the same methodology as the Oregon minimum wage penalty. However, sometimes they still are not the same. For instance, an employer could promise to pay $15.00 per hour and then fail to pay the wages on payday. In this case, an employee working in Portland, Oregon in July of 2018, could be entitled to a minimum wage penalty of $2,880 because the Oregon minimum wage rate for Portland was $12 per hour. While his/her late payment could be calculated at the promised rate of $15 per hour, making the Oregon late pay penalty wages equal to $3,600.
Do employers have to pay you on payday?
Yes, it is the opinion of the lawyers at Schuck Law that Oregon employers must pay all minimum wages on payday. Oregon has a specific statute that requires all wages be paid on payday. ORS 652.120. This includes a requirement that all Oregon employers pay regular wages, minimum wages, overtime wages on payday. In fact, any employer covered by federal minimum wage laws and overtime laws, also known as the FLSA, requires wages be paid on payday. The federal case that held this is called Biggs v. Wilson. The attorneys at Schuck Law believe that Oregon cases will follow Biggs in finding that all minimum wages are due on payday. This is based upon the fact that Biggs did not have a statute or regulation setting when minimum wages were due. Instead, the due date was set by the case. In Oregon, because we have a statute setting the due date, it is easy for the Court to follow Biggs. Further, there is already indications that the Court has made regarding minimum wages being due on payday. The Oregon Court of Appeals footnoted that minimum wages and payday were related. The lawyers at Schuck Law believe the Oregon Supreme Court would find that minimum wages are due on payday following ORS 652.120 if the issue was before them.
My employer didn’t pay me on payday, what can I do?
Several possible actions for employees in this situation. The employee may be able to sue for unpaid wages, unpaid minimum wages, minimum wage civil penalties, FLSA minimum wages, FLSA liquidated damages.
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