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Table of contents
  1. Wage and Hour Laws
  2. Employee Compensation and Benefits
  3. Workplace Rights and Protections
  4. Child Labor Laws
  5. Workplace Safety and Health
  6. Labor Union Regulations
  7. Employment Contracts and Severance
  8. Additional Laws That Might Apply to You
  9. Navigating Legal Issues and Resources
  10. Disclaimer

Wage and Hour Laws

Minimum Wage

Oregon’s minimum wage is location-dependent. The current minimum wages are:

  • Portland: $15.45 per hour. 
  • Urban counties other than Portland: $14.20 per hour. 
  • Rural counties: $13.20 per hour. 

Oregon’s minimum wage increases annually in line with inflation. As of July 1, 2024, minimum wages increase to:

  • Portland: $15.95 per hour. 
  • Urban counties other than Portland: $14.70 per hour. 
  • Rural counties: $13.70 per hour. 

Oregon’s minimum wage law applies to most employees—with some limited exceptions. These include certain agricultural workers, domestic workers in a family home, and administrative, executive, or professional workers. 

Oregon’s minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum (currently $7.25 per hour). Where federal and state minimum wage apply to an employee, employers must pay Oregon’s higher minimum wage. 

Tipped Minimum Wage

Employers can’t use tip credits to pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage. 

Mandatory tip pooling is allowed as long as management doesn’t participate in the pool. 

Overtime Laws

Oregon’s overtime laws mirror federal overtime laws. Covered employees must be paid 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for every hour worked over 40 in a workweek. 

Oregon’s overtime laws don’t apply to all employees. The main exemption is for administrative, executive, or professional workers. 

Oregon also has separate overtime rules for workers in specific industries, including seafood processors, certain agricultural workers, and those employed in canneries, driers, and packing plants. 

Employers can require employees to work mandatory overtime, and private employers can’t offer compensatory leave instead of overtime. 

Meal and Rest Breaks

Oregon’s wage and hour laws require employers to provide workers with rest and meal breaks, depending on their work hours. Generally, employees are entitled to at least one 30-minute unpaid meal break and two 10-minute paid rest breaks for every 8 hours they work. 

Employees must be relieved of all work duties during their 30-minute meal breaks—otherwise, they must be paid. Minors are entitled to 15-minute rest breaks. 

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) sets out break entitlements depending on the number of hours an employee works:

Hours workedRest breaksMeal breaks
2 hrs or less00
2 hrs 1 min – 5 hrs 59 min10
6 hrs11
6 hrs 1 min – 10 hrs21
10 hrs 1 min – 13 hrs 59 min31
14 hrs32
14 hrs 1 min – 18 hrs42
18 hrs 1 min – 21 hrs 59 min52
22 hrs53
22 hrs 1 min – 24 hrs63

The timing of meal breaks depends on the length of a worker’s shift. Employees who work between 6 and 7 hours must take their meal break after the 2nd hour of work and before the start of the 5th hour of work. Employees who work more than 7 hours must take their break after the 3rd hour of work and before the 6th hour of work. 

Rest breaks should be given in the middle of each 4 hours an employee works (or as close to this as possible). Employers can’t add meal and rest breaks or give an employee their rest breaks at the start or end of their shifts. 

There are limited exceptions to meal break requirements.

Under Oregon workplace safety and health laws, employees who work in high heat conditions (90 degrees Fahrenheit or more) must be given heat illness prevention breaks. The lengths and regularity of these breaks depend on the temperature. 

Employers must also give employees with children under 18 months old reasonable rest periods to express breast milk. 


Employers covered by Oregon’s wage and hour laws must keep records of employees’ hours and wages. These include:

  • Employees’ full names and home addresses.
  • Dates of birth (if less than 19 years old).
  • Employees’ roles.
  • When their workweeks start (time and date).
  • Hourly rates of pay for any weeks where overtime pay is due.
  • Hours worked each day, plus weekly totals.
  • Earnings (without overtime).
  • Overtime pay.
  • Any additions or deductions.
  • Total wages paid.
  • Dates of pay periods and payments.

Payroll records should be kept for 3 years.

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Employee Scheduling Laws

Predictive scheduling laws apply to Oregon retail, hospitality, and food service employers with at least 500 employees. They apply to employees whose primary duties relate to retail, hospitality, or food services. 

Under these laws, employers must:

  • Provide new employees with good-faith estimates of their work schedules in writing. 
  • Provide each employee with a written work schedule at least 14 calendar days in advance.
  • Pay penalties to employees who have their schedules changed without advanced notice.

These penalties are:

  • 1 hour of the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employer:
    • Extends a shift by more than 30 minutes.
    • Changes a shift’s start or end time (without affecting total work hours).
    • Requires an employee to work extra hours or on-call shifts.
  • 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour not worked because an employer:
    • Reduces an employee’s hours before or after they arrive at work.
    • Changes the start or end time of a shift (resulting in reduced work hours).
    • Cancels a shift.
    • Doesn’t require the employee to work when they’re on call.

Employees also have rights under predictive scheduling laws. These include the right to:

  • Turn down additional shifts that aren’t on their original schedules. 
  • Request flexibility around their scheduling—for example, for childcare reasons. Employers don’t have to agree to these requests but can’t retaliate against employees for making them. 
  • Have at least a 10-hour break between finishing one shift and starting the next. Employees can agree to work clopening shifts with less than 10 hours rest if the employer pays them 1.5 times their regular pay rate. 

Employee Compensation and Benefits

Reporting Time Pay

Oregon has a specific reporting time law for minors who attend work but are no longer required. These adequate work laws require employers to pay minors for half their shift or 1 hour’s wages—whichever is more. 

While there’s no equivalent law for adults, predictive scheduling laws (discussed above) require employers to pay penalties to employees whose scheduled hours are changed or reduced. 

Payday Frequency and Method

Oregon employers must pay employees on regular paydays. There can’t be more than 35 days between paydays. 

Oregon employers can pay employees by:

  • Cash.
  • Direct deposit.
  • Check if requested by the employee. 
  • Automated teller machine cards, payroll cards, and other electronic transfers—with employees’ voluntary agreement. Employees can’t be paid in a way that costs them money to access their wages. 

Pay Stub Requirements

Employers must provide employees with pay stubs on regular paydays or any other times compensation is paid. Each pay stub must detail:

  • Payment date.
  • Dates of pay period.
  • Employee’s name.
  • Employer’s name, business identification number, address, and phone number.
  • Pay rate/s.
  • How the employee is paid—i.e., hourly, daily, weekly, commission, or piecework.
  • Gross and net wages.
  • Any deductions, including their purpose(s).
  • Minimum wage allowances.
  • For employees paid by the hour and covered by overtime laws: their regular pay rates, overtime rates, number of hours worked, and pay for these hours (both regular and overtime).
  • For employees paid a piece rate: their regular pay rate, the number of pieces completed, and total pay.

Employers can issue electronic pay stubs where employees agree to them if employees can print or store their pay stubs. 

Wage Deductions and Garnishments

Employers can deduct amounts from employees’ wages in the following situations:

  • They’re legally required to do so—for example, for taxes. 
  • The employee voluntarily agrees in writing to a deduction that doesn’t benefit the employer—for example, for health insurance or charitable donations. 
  • The amount is for meals and lodging for the employee, and they’ve authorized the deduction in writing. 
  • A collective bargaining agreement allows it. 
  • It’s the employee’s final paycheck, and they’re repaying a loan from the employer (specific criteria apply).
  • In certain circumstances, the employer can deduct wage garnishment processing fees ($2 per week). 

Oregon employers can garnish employees’ wages. As a general rule, 75% of an employee’s disposable earnings are protected from garnishments resulting from court orders. 

However, there are specific minimum limits depending on the length of the garnishment. The garnishment can’t result in the employee earning less than the following minimum amounts:

  • $254 for 1 week or less. 
  • $509 for a 2-week period.
  • $545 for a half-month period.
  • $1,090 for 1 month.

The law sets out a formula to calculate the minimum disposable earnings for periods longer than 1 month.

Final Paycheck Laws

Employers must pay employees their final paycheck within the following timeframes:

Employee quits with less than 48 hours’ notice (excluding weekends and holidays)On the next regular payday or within 5 business days—whichever is soonest
Employee quits and gives more than 48 hours noticeOn the last day of employment (or the next business day if the last day falls on a weekend or holiday)
Employer terminates the employee, or both parties agree to terminate the employment relationshipBy the end of the next business day
A collective bargaining agreement appliesWithin the timeframe set out in the agreement
The departing employee is a seasonal farmworkerImmediately, with limited exceptions

If an employer fails to pay the employee as required, they may face penalties up to 8 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each day the wages are overdue—up to a maximum of 30 days. BOLI can also impose civil penalties of up to $1,000 for employers willfully failing to pay final wages. 

Workers’ Compensation

Most Oregon employers must have workers’ compensation for their employees—with some limited exceptions. Employers who fail to take out the necessary workers’ compensation can be fined by the Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD), which oversees workers’ compensation in Oregon. 

Workers’ compensation covers the costs related to a workplace injury or illness, such as medical treatment, lost wages due to more than 3 days off work or modified work, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, and fatality benefits for spouses and children. 

Under Oregon’s workplace compensation laws, employers must:

  • Provide workers with a Form 801, “Report of Job Injury or Illness,” to report a workplace injury.
  • Report any workplace injuries or illnesses requiring medical treatment to their insurer within 5 days. 
  • Keep injury and illness records for 5 years. 

Employers can’t discriminate against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. 

Employees must inform employers of workplace injuries or illnesses immediately. They must complete a Form 801 and provide it to their employer. Injured employees then see their doctor to complete Form 827, “Worker’s and Health Care Provider’s Report for Workers’ Compensation Claims.”

Employees receive a decision on their claim within 60 days of the employer’s awareness. 

Employees who disagree with a workers’ compensation decision can appeal by requesting a reconsideration with the WCD within 60 days of the mailing date on their Notice of Closure.

The WCD considers the request and issues an Order on Reconsideration containing its decision. Employees who disagree with the order can request a hearing before the Workers’ Compensation Board. They have 30 days after the order is issued to do so. 

Unemployment Insurance

Employers fund Oregon’s unemployment benefits program through taxes. Tax rates are revised each year. The tax rate for the 2024 calendar year is 2.4% of each employee’s taxable wages up to $52,800. 

Unemployment benefits may be available to workers who’ve lost their jobs or had their hours reduced through no fault of their own, left their jobs for good cause, or are unemployed as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 

Workers in these situations may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they:

  • Earned sufficient income in the previous 12 to 18 months. 
  • Are actively job seeking and are able to and available for work.
  • Have working rights in the US.

Oregon’s Employment Department manages unemployment benefits. Employees can file for unemployment benefits using the Employment Department’s Frances Online system. 

Weekly benefits are calculated at 1.25% of an employee’s base period wages. A base period is the first 4 of the last 5 full calendar quarters before a benefits claim is filed. 

The minimum benefits an individual can receive is currently $190 per week, and the maximum is $812. These minimums and maximums are revised annually from July 1. 

Workers can access unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks in a 52-week period. 

Workers can appeal benefits decisions by requesting a hearing within 20 days of the post date of the notice of determination. Hearings can be ordered online, in person, or by mail or fax. 

An administrative law judge (ALJ) conducts hearings, usually over the phone. Workers can appeal ALJ decisions to the Employment Appeals Board. 

Workplace Rights and Protections

Discrimination and Harassment

Under Oregon law, employers can’t discriminate against candidates or employees because of their:

  • Race.
  • National origin.
  • Color.
  • Sex.
  • Gender identity.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Marital or family status.
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. 
  • Age (18 and older). 
  • Religion.
  • Disability (applies to employers with 6 or more employees).
  • Military status.

The prohibition against discrimination applies to all stages of the employment process, including recruitment, promotion, and termination. 

All employers must have a written policy outlining how to prevent discrimination, harassment, and sexual assault in the workplace. Each must give new employees a copy of the policy and store it in a location where all employees can access it, such as an employee handbook

Employers with 6 or more employees must make reasonable accommodations for disabilities and pregnancy-related conditions. Employers can refuse these accommodations only if they create undue hardship for the business. 

Employees have the right to file a discrimination complaint with BOLI or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or file a lawsuit. They can do so up to 5 years after the incident occurs. 

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who file discrimination complaints or lawsuits. 

Oregon’s equal pay law requires employers to pay employees in comparable jobs the same wages. This equal pay law applies to all the protected classes listed above. 

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Leave Laws

✔ Family and Medical LeaveIn addition to having access to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, Oregon workers may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA). 
OFLA applies to employers with 25 or more employees. Employees qualify for OFLA leave if they’ve worked an average of 25 hours a week for 180 days. 
Each eligible employee can currently access this leave to:Deal with a serious health condition.Care for a family member with a serious health condition.Care for a sick child, spouse, or domestic partner requiring home care.Bond with a new child.Manage a disability due to a pregnancy or childbirth-related condition (these employees can access up to an additional 12 weeks of OFLA leave). Take bereavement leave following a family member’s death (up to 2 weeks leave per family member, up to a maximum of 12 weeks). Take military family leave for spouses or domestic partners (up to 14 days). 
As of July 1, 2024, there are various changes to OFLA and Paid Leave Oregon (discussed below) that clarify which type of leave employees can access in certain circumstances. 
As of July 1, 2024, each eligible employee can access OFLA leave for:Caring for their child when they’re sick or schools are closed due to a public health emergency (up to 12 weeks). Bereavement (up to 2 weeks per family member, capped at 4 weeks per year).Pregnancy disability (up to 12 additional weeks).Military family leave (up to 14 days for each deployment).Managing the legal processes involved with fostering or adopting a child (2 additional weeks, available only until December 31, 2024—when it becomes available under Paid Leave Oregon).
Leave for a serious health condition and bonding with a new child will be available under Paid Leave Oregon. 
Where both OFLA leave and Paid Leave Oregon are available in a situation, employees can access only one.
If employees request leave that OFLA no longer covers, employees must inform them about the changes within 14 days. 
✔ Paid Leave OregonUnder Paid Leave Oregon, each eligible employee can access up to 12 weeks of paid leave for:Caring or bonding with a new child.Caring for a family member with a serious health condition.Attending to their own serious health condition.Dealing with domestic violence, harassment, or stalking. Pregnancy and childbirth related conditions (up to 14 weeks of leave).Employees can generally access this leave if they earned at least $1,000 in the year prior to applying. 
Oregon’s paid leave is funded by employer and employee contributions. 
From January 1, 2025, eligible employees will be able to access leave to manage the legal processes involved with fostering or adopting a child under Paid Leave Oregon. 
✔ Paid Sick LeaveOregon employees are entitled to sick leave. Employees get 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers can cap this at 40 hours per year. 
If an employer has 10 or more employees (6 or more for Portland employers), this leave must be paid.
After working for the employer for 90 days, employees can take sick leave to treat their own or a family member’s illness or injury. 
Employers can let employees accrue sick leave or give employees 40 hours of sick leave at the start of the year. 
✔ Paid Family LeavePaid family leave is available under Paid Leave Oregon. 
✔ Pregnancy and Parental LeaveOregon employees can access pregnancy and parental leave under OFLA and Paid Leave Oregon. 
𐄂 Vacation and Personal LeaveVacation or personal leave isn’t mandatory in Oregon. Where they offer it, employers must follow the relevant conditions of an employment contract or policy. 

Military, Jury Duty, and Other Mandatory Leave

There are several other types of mandatory leave in Oregon. 

Military LeaveUnder state law, Oregon employees can take unpaid, job-protected leave if called into active state service. While this leave is unpaid, employees’ health benefits must continue. 
Jury Duty LeaveEmployers can’t terminate or otherwise retaliate against an employee for attending jury duty. They also can’t force employees to take sick leave, vacation leave, or annual leave. The employer must decide whether jury duty leave is paid. 
Witness LeaveEmployers with 6 or more employees must give employees leave to attend criminal proceedings. This leave doesn’t have to be paid. To be eligible for this leave, employees must’ve worked more than 25 hours per week on average for 180 days before taking the leave. 
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault LeaveEmployers with 6 or more employees must provide reasonable leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, bias, harassment, or stalking. Employees can take leave for related reasons, too—including seeking legal advice, help from police, and medical assistance, as well as relocating. 
Employers can require documentation to support this leave.
All employers must make reasonable safety accommodations for these workers, such as transferring them, changing their work numbers, or introducing additional safety measures.  

Child Labor Laws

Employers generally can’t employ workers under 14 years of age. However, some exceptions exist, such as minors working on farms or picking berries. 

Employers must apply annually for a certificate to hire workers under 18. They can do this online via BOLI. These certificates are for employers—not individual employees. 

Other specific permits and licenses are required for hiring minors under 14 or minors working in the agriculture or entertainment industries.

Employers must verify minor employees’ ages and keep a list of minor employees. 

14 and 15-year-olds16 and 17-year-olds
Limits on hours when school is in sessionCan work between 7am and 7pm but not during school hours.Can work up to 3 hours a day.Can work up to 8 hours on non-school days.Can work up to a maximum of 18 hours per week.Specific hours restrictions apply to agricultural employees.No limits on timing.Can work up to a maximum of 44 hours per week.Specific hours restrictions apply to agricultural employees.
Limits on hours when school isn’t in sessionCan work 7am to 9pm from June 1 to Labor Day.Can work up to 8 hours per day.Can work up to a maximum of 40 hours per week.Specific hours restrictions apply to agricultural employees.
Limits on types of workMinors aged 14 and 15 can’t work in various occupations, including:Manufacturing/processing.Workshops or warehouses.Construction sites. Using scaffolds, ladders, or similar.All minors under 18 are prohibited from certain occupations, including:Driving a motor vehicle.Operating power hand drills.Roofing.Meat slaughtering.
Full lists of prohibited occupations for minors are available here

Failure to comply with Oregon’s child labor laws can result in civil penalties of up to $1,000.

Workplace Safety and Health

The Oregon Safe Employment Act (OSEA) covers workplace safety and health at a state level. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces OSEA.

Under OSEA, employers are required to provide employees with a safe working environment. Employers must:

  • Meet Oregon OSHA standards. 
  • Report any workplace fatalities within 8 hours and in-patient hospitalization, loss of an eye, amputation, or avulsions within 24 hours. 
  • Keep a Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (this applies to non-exempt employers with over 10 employees). 
  • Post OSHA Safety and Health posters at their worksites.
  • Train employees on how to safely use machinery, equipment, and tools. 
  • Not retaliate against employees who exercise their rights under OSEA, such as reporting hazards and requesting an Oregon OSHA inspection.

Oregon OSHA’s rule obligations tool is valuable for employers to understand their obligations. 

OSEA gives employees the right to:

  • Tell their employers about workplace hazards.
  • Refuse to do tasks that put them at risk of imminent danger or serious harm. 
  • Request workplace inspections by Oregon OSHA. 
  • Give evidence in court about workplace hazards. 

Employees also have obligations under OSEA. These include:

  • Following workplace safety and health rules. 
  • Reporting any workplace hazards, injuries, or illnesses. 
  • Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by their employer. 

Labor Union Regulations

Oregon workers can organize labor unions and engage in collective bargaining. However, Oregon doesn’t have any right-to-work laws. This means that employers and unions can require workers to join unions or pay union fees as conditions of employment. 

The Employment Relations Board (ERB) hears and decides labor disputes relating to public employees and private employees not covered by the National Labor Relations Act. 

Employment Contracts and Severance

Employment Contract Laws

In Oregon, employment relationships are presumed to be “at will.” This means the employer or employee can terminate the relationship at any time, for any lawful reason or no reason. Unlawful reasons for terminating an employment relationship include discrimination or retaliation. 

Written or verbal employment contracts can replace the at-will presumption. 

Employers can use non-competes in employment contracts. However, a non-compete agreement will be void unless:

  • The employer gives the employee notice of the non-compete at least 2 weeks before their start date, or the non-compete is related to a genuine promotion of a current employee. 
  • The worker is a salaried administrative, executive, or professional employee whose annual income exceeds a minimum amount (currently $113,241). 
  • There’s a legitimate business interest to protect. 
  • The employer gives the employee a signed copy of the non-compete within 30 days of them leaving the organization.

Alternatively, a non-compete is valid if an employer pays the employee a minimum of 50% of their annual gross base salary and commissions or 50% of the minimum salary amount (currently $113,241). 

Non-competes can restrict an employee for only 12 months after their employment ends.  

The same restrictions don’t apply to non-solicitation agreements. 

On May 7, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a final rule effectively banning the use of non-compete agreements. The rule is due to apply from September 4, 2024, although current legal challenges may delay or prevent this. The rule will apply to most employers and employees in the US, with some limited exceptions—for example, senior executives with existing non-competes. 

Severance Pay

Oregon employers aren’t required to give employees severance pay. Employers must follow the relevant requirements of an employment contract, policy, or collective bargaining agreement. 

Additional Laws That Might Apply to You

New hire reporting lawsOregon employers must report new employees to the Department of Justice Child Support Division within 20 days of hire. As of January 1, 2024, employers must also report independent contractors.
Ban-the-box lawsUnder Oregon law, employers can’t ask about a candidate’s criminal history before interviewing them. An employer in Portland can’t do so until they’ve made a conditional job offer
Mini-COBRA lawThe federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) provides for continuing health benefits in certain circumstances, such as after a job loss or reduction in hours. However, COBRA applies only to employers with 20 or more employees. 
Oregon’s mini-COBRA applies to employers with less than 20 employees. It provides for continuing health coverage for certain employees for up to 9 months. 
Equal pay lawAn employer is prohibited from asking candidates about their previous pay until they make an offer of employment. Employers can’t use what employees were previously paid to determine compensation for their roles. 
Whistleblower protectionsEmployers can’t discriminate or retaliate against employees who report or file complaints regarding potential legal violations. 

COVID-19 Related Laws and Regulations

Oregon OSHA suspended its COVID-19 rules on April 3, 2023. Employees can wear masks if they choose, but employers don’t need to provide them. 

BOLI’s website provides extensive resources for employers and employees regarding wage and hour laws, workplace discrimination, and leave entitlements. These include FAQs, factsheets, and compliance toolkits. 

The Oregon State Bar also offers employment law information on its website. 

Oregon Law Help compiles resources for workers on various labor law topics, as well as referrals to free and low-cost local legal advice. The Oregon Law Center is another source of free employment legal advice for low-income earners. 


The information presented on this website about labor laws in Oregon is a summary for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. However, laws and regulations regularly change and may vary depending on individual circumstances. While we have made every effort to ensure the information provided is up-to-date and reliable, we cannot guarantee its completeness, accuracy, or applicability to your specific situation. Therefore, we strongly recommend that readers seek guidance from their legal departments or qualified attorneys to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Please note that we cannot be held liable for any actions taken or not taken based on the information presented on this website.

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