Oregon Salaried Employees Laws

April 15th 2024

In Oregon, salaried employees are compensated with a fixed amount at regular intervals, with employers setting paycheck schedules either weekly or less frequently.

Oregon has established laws safeguarding and ensuring fair practices for both employees and employers, and this article covers various aspect of these regulations, including payment protocols, breaks, leaves, and employee categorization. Read on to learn more about the rights of employees, as well as the responsibilities of employers.

This article covers:

Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Oregon

Oregon employees are legally required to provide their employees with a regular monthly salary. Payroll schedules can span a month but should not exceed 35 days. Employers can choose various methods, such as checks, direct deposits, ATMs, or payroll cards.

The lowest hourly amount that an employee in the US can be paid is the minimum wage. In Oregon, the state pays more than the $7.25 federal wage, with the standard minimum wage currently set to $14.20, with some non-urban counties and the Portland Metro area having different minimum wages.

Oregon Minimum Wage
$13.20 for some in non-urban counties
$14.20 standard minimum wage
$15.45 Portland Metro

The US City Average Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers is the basis for changes to Oregon’s minimum wage. Salaried workers put in forty hours a week at work. Overtime compensation is not guaranteed for work over 40 hours, and for employees to be eligible for overtime pay, they must be classified as exempt.

Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for Oregon

In Oregon, overtime pay is required for all non-exempt employees. Salaried employees who earn below $684 per week ($35,568 per year) in a non-exempt industry are entitled to compensation.

Job responsibility and industry determine an employee’s eligibility. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Employees who are not in executive, administrative, or professional positions, or in other exempt categories defined by FLSA.
  • Employees who have worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.

Employers must classify their employees for overtime pay. Misclassification and neglecting overtime pay can lead to legal consequences and financial penalties. Employers need to track work hours or use automated systems to track time and attendance. These automated tools ensure all employees are justly compensated for their overtime.

Overtime Pay for Oregon Salaried Employees

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines a workweek as 7 continuous days’ work. Employees receive a guaranteed payment of at least the minimum hourly rate. Any hours worked above 40 are considered overtime and should be compensated as such.

Overtime pay is 1.5 times the regular wage for non-exempt employees. The Oregon overtime minimum wage is set at $21.30 per hour, given that the standard rate is $14.20. Calculating the overtime pay ensures employees receive fair compensation for their work hours.

Oregon Overtime Pay 1.5 times the minimum wage for any time worked over 40 hours per week.
$19.80 for some non-urban counties
$21.30 standard minimum wage
$23.8 in Portland Metro

Hence, employers can simplify the process of keeping track of their employees’ hours worked by using tools such as a timesheet app, monitoring time and attendance, or employing overtime compliance software.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Oregon Salaried Employees

The following are the exceptions and exemptions for overtime compensation in Oregon:

  • Employees who are in administrative, executive, professional, and outside sales positions and who earn at least $684 per week.
  • Some agricultural workers.
  • Workers in livestock production.
  • Domestic workers in family homes.
  • Primary or secondary students enrolled and employed in the same institution.
  • Taxicab operators.
  • Workers living at the place of their employment and who are on-call for emergency duties.
  • Workers who are paid for specified hours and on-call for duties.
  • Managers, assistant managers, and maintenance workers who are employed and housed in multi-unit accommodations.
  • Seasonal workers at educational camps earning less than $500,000 annually.
  • Seasonal workers at non-profit camps.
  • Employees at nonprofit conference areas for educational, religious, and charitable purposes
  • Volunteer firefighters.
  • Companions to elderly, disabled, or infirm people in their family homes.
  • Resident managers of adult foster care homes.
  • Inmate labor workers.
  • Referees of recreational soccer matches.
  • Workers of independently owned and operated local enterprises in wholesale or bulk.
  • Workers involved in the fishing and processing of aquatic animal and vegetable life.
  • Computer system analysts, programmers, software developers, and similarly skilled workers earning at least $27.63 per hour.

Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Oregon

According to Oregon’s Public Law Chapter 652.150, employers who neglect to pay final wages on time may face a penalty wage. The penalty is equal to 8 times the employee’s regular rate for each day the final wages remain unpaid, up to 30 days. It is possible to reduce the penalty to 100% of unpaid wages if the employer settles within 12 days.

Employers failing to pay wages upon termination of a contract are fined a civil penalty. Besides the $1,000 fine, Oregon BOLI states employers should cover the interests and attorney fees.

Furthermore, employees can file a wage claim within the employer’s county (if the amount is $10,000 or less).

Male and Female Salaried Employees in Oregon

Every worker must receive equal pay regardless of their gender, age, race, or other protected status. Equal Pay in Oregon prohibits employers from offering disparate wages and benefits to employees with similar job responsibilities. The act permits employers to justify wage differences based on the following criteria only:

  • Seniority system
  • Merit system
  • System measuring earnings by quantity or quality
  • Workplace location
  • Necessary and regular travel for an employee
  • Educational qualifications
  • Work experience
  • Training

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Oregon

Employers in Oregon are mandated to provide certain types of leave, although compensation for these kinds of leave is not universally required. Sick leave, for example, is a requirement, with the specifics contingent on the size of the company. In Portland, employers with six or more employees must offer paid sick leave, while other companies may provide unpaid leave.

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave and has eligibility criteria based on tenure and hours worked, with a lower threshold for applicability in Oregon compared to federal standards. This ensures that employees can take necessary time off for personal or family health needs without fear of losing their jobs.

Additionally, employers must offer leave such as jury duty, witness, domestic violence or sexual assault, crime victim, military, military family, and holiday leave as required by state law. However, employers are not obliged to provide leave such as vacation, voting, bereavement, or volunteer firefighter leave.

Nonetheless, if they choose to offer these types of leave, they must outline clear policies in employment contracts, including details on accrual, usage, and any limitations on payouts or reinstatement rights upon resignation. Ensuring transparent communication of leave policies helps to create a fair and supportive work environment where employees understand their rights and responsibilities regarding time off.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Oregon

Oregon employers should provide their employees with meals and breaks. However, it is up to the employer’s discretion to determine if the breaks are compensable or not.

Oregon Break Laws Meal break: 30 min per 6+ hours
Rest break: 10 min per 4 hours
Rest break (minors): 15 min per 4 hours

If employees are nursing mothers, they can take a breastfeeding break. As mandated by federal and state laws, employers should provide a comfortable environment, for example a private room with a door other than a bathroom stall. It is preferable for the location to be near the workplace.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salaries in Oregon

According to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, payroll deductions are permissible. Based on the mandate or employment contract, deductions should benefit employees, with any withholdings clearly outlined on the paycheck.

Employers cannot withhold or deduct any portion of the wages unless it is:

  • Required by law (i.e., taxes along with any related fees).
  • To the individual’s benefit (i.e., health insurance premiums).
  • In line with written authorization for other deductions, ensuring the employer is not the sole recipient. An example is charity contributions.
  • Authorized by the collective bargaining agreement.
  • A signed loan agreement by the employee.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Oregon

Much like other US states, Oregon follows the “employment-at-will” policy. The policy implies employers have the right to terminate employees without reason. At the same time, employees have the liberty to resign without any legal consequences.

However, terminating employees due to discrimination against or retaliation against employees is an unlawful termination. Employers are obliged to provide the final paycheck, including all wages and benefits. As per Oregon Wage Laws, terminated employees should expect their final paycheck in the next few business days.

Meanwhile, employees who resign with 48 hours’ notice should receive their final paycheck on their last day of work. If the notice is less than 48 hours, final pay must be within 5 business days or the next payday.

Learn more about Oregon Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.