Oregon minimum wage laws require employers to compensate employees for all hours worked. Hours worked is defined as all hours an employee is employed by and required to give to his or her employer and includes all time during which an employee is necessarily required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed workplace and all time the employee is suffered or permitted to work. Hours worked includes work time as defined in Oregon’s minimum wage law. OR Statute 653.010(11); OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0004(19)
Hours worked is further defined as:
- work requested or required to be perform, as well as work not requested but suffered or permitted to be performed;
- work performed away from the employer’s premises or job site, including time the employer knows or has reason to believe the work is being performed.
If an employer does not want an employee to perform work, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the work is not performed. Promulgating a rule or policy against such work is not enough. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0040
Oregon minimum wage laws define a workweek as any fixed and regularly recurring period of seven (7) consecutive workdays. A workday is defined as any fixed period of 24 consecutive hours. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0080(1)(g)
Oregon minimum wage laws require employers to count time spent by employees waiting for work as hours worked for purposes of its minimum wage and overtime requirements if the employees are engaged to wait. Employees are engaged to wait if they remain subject to the control and direction of their employer and are unable to effectively use the waiting time for their own purposes. These employees are considered to be on duty.
Employers do not need to compensate employees for waiting time if the employees are waiting to be engaged. In these situations, employees are informed by their employers that they are completely relieved from duty, may leave the job, and need not return until a specific time. Additionally, the period the employees are relieved of duty must be long enough that the employees may use the time effectively for their own purposes. These employees are considered to be off duty. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0041(1)-(2).
Oregon minimum wage laws require employers to count time spent by employees on-call as hours worked for purpose of its minimum wage and overtime requirements when the employees are required to remain so close to the employer’s premises that they are unable to use the time effectively for their own purposes. Employers do not need to compensate employees for on-call time if the employees are not required to remain on or near the employer’s premises and are only required to leave word where they can be reached. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0041(3).
Oregon minimum wage laws require employers to count time spent by employees sleeping or engaged in other activities as hours worked when they are required to be on duty less than 24 hours and are permitted to sleep or engage in other activities when not busy. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0042(1)
Additionally, when an employee is required to be on duty for 24 hours or more, an agreement can be made between the employer and employee to exclude bona fide meal periods and regularly scheduled sleeping periods from the employee’s hours worked.
The bona fide sleeping periods that may be excluded from hours worked may not exceed eight (8) hours and the employer must provide the employee with adequate sleeping facilities where the employee can usually enjoy an uninterrupted sleep period. Any interruptions to the sleeping period where the employee must perform job duties are considered hours worked.
The entire sleep period must be counted as hours worked should interruptions be so long or so frequent that the employees are unable to enjoin at least five (5) continuous hours of sleep. Even if the employee sleeps more than eight (8) hours, only eight (8) hours of sleep time can be deducted from hours worked. If the employer and employees have not entered into a sleep time agreement, all sleep time must be counted as hours worked.
In situations where employees reside on an employers’ premises, an employer does not need to count all the employees’ time as hours worked. Oregon recognizes that in these situations most employees have free time throughout the day to use for their own purposes. Because each of these situations may vary significantly, Oregon accepts any reasonable agreement between the employer and employees that sets forth what time will be counted as hours worked. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0042(3)
For domestic workers, an employer must provide a domestic worker who resides in the home of the employer with both:
- at least eight (8) consecutive hours of rest within each 24-hour period and
- a space with adequate conditions for uninterrupted sleep.
For domestic workers, if the period of rest is interrupted by a call to duty, any time worked during the rest period must be paid at one and one-half times the employee’s base rate regardless of the total number of hours worked in that workweek.
Oregon minimum wage laws address the following situations regarding whether employee travel time must be counted as hours worked for purposes of its minimum wage and overtime requirements:
- Employers do not need to count normal travel time commuting to and from home and work as hours worked. OR Admin. Rule 839-020-0045(1).
- Employers must count employee travel time as hours worked when employees are required to travel a substantial distance (meaning outside a 30-mile radius of the employer’s premises) to perform an emergency job after their regular shift has ended and they have left the employer’s premises or jobsite. Employers may reduce the amount of time traveled that is counted as hours worked in these situation by the amount of time it normally takes the employees to travel to and from the employer’s premises or jobsite. OR Admin. Rule 839-020-0045(2).
- Employers must count employee travel time as hours worked when the travel is part of the employee’s principal work activity, including driving from job site to job site during the day. This compensable travel time includes time employees spend traveling to a job site after they have reported to a central location at the request of the employer for pre-shift meetings or to pick up tools and/or equipment. OR Admin. Rule 839-020-0045(3).
- Employers must count employee travel time as hours worked when employees who normally work at fixed locations are required to work at another location 30-miles away from their normal worksite and are required to travel to and from the other location within the same day. OR Admin. Rule 839-020-0045(4).
- If employees travel away from their home community overnight, Employers must count the employees’ travel time as hours worked if it occurs during the employees’ normal work hours. This includes travel during normal work hours on days the employee does not normally work. For example, if an employee normally works Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., an employer would be required to pay an employee who travels between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday if the travel requires the employee to be away from home overnight. Employers do not need to count time spent by employees traveling outside normal work hours as hours worked. OR Admin. Rule 839-020-0045(5).
- When employees choose to drive their private vehicle instead of taking public transportation when traveling away from home, employers may choose to count as hours worked the time the employee spent traveling in the personal vehicle or time the employee would have spent traveling by public transportation. OR Admin. Rule 839-020-0045(6).
- Employees must count any time spent by an employee working while traveling as hours worked. This includes employees to drive trucks, buses, automobiles, boats, or airplanes or any employee required to ride as a helper. An employer may deduct bona fide meal periods or sleeping periods from the hours worked total. OR Admin. Rule 839-020-0045(7).
Meeting, lecture, and training time
Oregon minimum wage laws require employers to count time spent by employees at meeting, lectures, training, or similar activities unless all of the following criteria are met:
- attendance falls outside the employee’s regular work hours;
- attendance is voluntary for the employee;
- attendance is not directly related to the employee’s job; and
- no productive work was performed by the employee during the attendance.
Attendance is not considered to be voluntary if the employee is required by the employer to attend. This includes all situations where employees understand or are led to believe that their present working conditions or continuance of employment would be adversely affected if they failed to attend. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0044(2)
Training is considered to be directly related to an employee’s job if the training is designed to make the employee perform his or her job more effectively. This is distinguished from training where the employee learns another job or a new skill for the employee’s existing job. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0044(3)
Employers do not need to count training time as hours worked if the employee independently and on his or her own initiative engaged in the training after hours at an independent school, college, or trade school brought about at the employee’s own initiative. This is true even if the training is related to the employee’s job. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0044(4)
Employers do not need to count time spent by employees at meetings, lectures, training, or other courses of instruction as hours worked if attendance is in fact voluntary and the meetings, lectures, training, or other courses of instruction are established by the employer for the benefit of the employees and correspond to courses offered by independent bone fide institutions of learning. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0044(5)
Employers may exclude from hours worked unless otherwise required by an explicit contractual agreement, time spent by apprentices in an organized program of related, supplemental instruction if:
- the apprentice is employed under a written apprenticeship agreement or program which meets the standards of and is registered with the Bureau of Labor and Industries, Apprenticeship and Training Division; and
- the time does not involve productive work or performance of the apprentice’s regular duties.
Employers are not required to compensate employees for time spent in training outside of the employees’ regular working hours at specialized or follow-up training which is required by any law or ordinance for certification of employees. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0044(7)
Show up or reporting time
Oregon minimum wage laws do not require employers to pay employees for reporting or showing up to work if no work is performed. An employer is also not required to pay an employee a minimum number of hours if the employer dismisses the employee from work prior to completing their scheduled shift. Employers are only required to pay employees for hours actually worked.