Oregon Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of Oregon to have a solid understanding of Oregon labor laws.

  • Are you struggling to understand Oregon labor laws, especially concerning employment rights and benefits like medical leave, sick leave, and bereavement leave?
  • Wondering about your rights regarding equal pay, meal periods, rest periods, and work hours under Oregon regulations?
  • Curious about Oregon child labor laws, scheduling laws, unpaid leave, and minimum wage rates?

Employment law, especially in a state like Oregon, requires a deep understanding of statutes and regulations.

When it comes to employment law and Oregon regulations, it’s important to search for accurate and actionable information.

From domestic workers, FMLA, pay periods, juvenile records, and undue hardship, to work schedules, there is plenty to cover.

This article is for:

  • Employees in Oregon seeking clarity on their rights and entitlements under state labor laws, including those in the food service industry.
  • Employers in Oregon aiming to ensure compliance with state regulations and provide fair treatment to their employees, while also navigating recordkeeping and business day requirements.

Understanding labor laws can be overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Whether you’re an employee or employer, we recognize the challenges you face in working through the head-scratching maze of regulations.

Through our understanding of Oregon labor laws, we aim to empower you with pointers to the right resources, ensuring that you can confidently navigate the complexities of employment law in the Beaver State.

Oregon has a robust set of labor laws designed to ensure safe working conditions, fair compensation, and fundamental protections for employees across the state.

Employers and employees alike must understand these laws to guarantee a lawful and equitable workplace.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Oregon labor laws.

Oregon Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

Oregon has a location-based minimum wage.

The current rates are $14.20 per hour in standard counties, $15.45 per hour in the Portland metro area, and $13.20 per hour in non-urban counties.

The minimum wage gradually increases annually.

Tipped Workers

Oregon does not have a separate minimum wage for tipped employees. Employers must ensure tipped workers earn at least the standard minimum wage when tips are included.

Oregon Payment Laws

Pay Frequency

Oregon employers must establish a regular payday at least once a month, with specific, predictable dates that cannot be more than 35 days apart.

Final Paycheck

When employment ends, the final paycheck is due immediately if the employee was fired.

If the employee is let go or fired, your final paycheck is due by the end of the next business day.

Oregon Overtime Laws

Overtime Eligibility

Non-exempt employees in Oregon are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek.


Numerous exemptions exist for specific occupations and industries, including farmworkers, certain salespersons, and some executive or administrative professionals.

Oregon Break Laws

Rest Breaks

Oregon employers must give employees a paid 10-minute rest break for every four hours (or a major portion) of work.

Meal Breaks

If an employee works more than six hours, employers must provide at least a 30-minute unpaid meal break.

For shifts of 14 hours or more, additional meal breaks are required. Employers are only required to pay for meal breaks if the employee is not fully relieved of duties.

Oregon Leave Requirements

Oregon Sick Time

Oregon mandates that most employers provide paid sick time.

Employees accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year.

Sick time can be used for an employee’s own illness, caring for a sick family member, absences related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and for preventive medical care.

Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)

OFLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave for childbirth, adoption, foster care placement, bonding with a new child, or a serious health condition of the employee or family member.

OFLA may be unpaid, but employees can often use accrued sick time or vacation for paid leave.

Military Family Leave

Employees can take leave related to a family member’s military service deployment or upon their return from active duty.

Other Leave Laws

Oregon provides additional leave time for bereavement, crime-related leave, jury duty, and organ donation.

Child Labor Laws In Oregon

Oregon has strict child labor laws to protect minors in the workforce.

Age Restrictions

Minors under 14 cannot generally be employed in Oregon. 14 and 15-year-olds can work but have restrictions on hours and types of work.

Minors aged 16 and 17 have fewer restrictions.

Work Permits

Minors may need work permits depending on their age, industry, and the number of hours they work.

Oregon Hiring Laws


Oregon has extensive anti-discrimination laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, and other protected characteristics.

Background Checks

Employers may conduct background checks but must comply with Oregon’s “Ban the Box” law, which generally prohibits inquiring about criminal history before a conditional job offer has been made.

Drug Testing

Oregon allows for drug testing but has limitations on how it can be conducted.

Oregon Termination Laws

At-Will Employment

Oregon is an at-will employment state.

This means employees can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, as long as the reason is not illegal (such as discrimination or retaliation).


While not required, employers are encouraged to provide advance notice of termination when possible.

Severance Pay

Severance pay is generally not required unless mandated by an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement.

Occupational Safety In Oregon

Oregon OSHA

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (Oregon OSHA) enforces workplace safety and health regulations. Employers are obligated to maintain a safe and hazard-free work environment for their employees.

Workers’ Compensation

Oregon mandates that most employers have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses.

Understanding Your Rights and Resources

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI)

BOLI is the primary state agency that enforces Oregon’s labor laws. They investigate wage claims, provide resources for workers, and generally help ensure compliance with Oregon’s workplace regulations.

Federal Laws

In addition to Oregon state laws, federal laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) also regulate aspects of employment, sometimes providing more generous protections than Oregon law.


Employees who have questions about their rights or believe their rights have been violated can contact BOLI or seek advice from an employment lawyer

Important Considerations and Additional Notes

Industry-Specific Regulations

Some industries have additional labor laws and regulations beyond the general laws outlined in this article.

Agriculture, construction, and healthcare are examples of industries with their own sets of rules.

Local Ordinances

Some cities and counties in Oregon may have more stringent laws on minimum wage, scheduling, or other aspects of employment relationships.

Exempt Employees

Salaried employees who meet specific tests related to job duties, salary amount, and level of independent judgment may be exempt from overtime requirements and other aspects of Oregon’s wage and hour laws.

Careful analysis is necessary to determine if an employee is exempt.

Independent Contractors

Oregon has rules on classifying workers as independent contractors vs. employees. Misclassifying employees can lead to legal trouble.

Key Takeaways

  • Oregon has comprehensive labor laws designed to protect employees and promote fair labor practices.
  • Understanding Oregon’s minimum wage, overtime, break, leave, and anti-discrimination laws is crucial for both employers and employees.
  • Employers must prioritize workplace safety and comply with Oregon OSHA regulations.
  • BOLI is a valuable resource for information and assistance regarding Oregon’s labor laws.
  • Certain industries and localities may have additional labor law requirements.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Oregon labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Oregon, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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