Oregon Labor Laws – Wage and Hour
Oregon’s current minimum wage depends on where employers’ employees work in the state. For more information on Oregon’s minimum wage laws, visit our Oregon Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
For more information on Oregon’s minimum wage laws, visit our Oregon Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
Related topic covered on other pages include:
Oregon labor laws require an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at the rate of 1 1/2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. OR Bureau of Labor FAQs: Overtime. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.
Meals and Breaks
Oregon labor laws require employers to provide employees with at least one 30-minute unpaid and uninterrupted meal period when the work period is six (6) hours or greater. If employers require employees to work at any time during meal periods, they must pay the employees for the entire 30-minute periods. Employers must provide meal periods to employees based on the number of hours they work as follows:
- 0 to 6 hours – 0 meal periods
- 6 to 14 hours – 1 meal period
- 14 to 22 hours – 2 meal periods
- 22 to 24 hours – 3 meal periods
Employers must allow employees to take their meal periods according to the following time requirements:
- If employees work seven (7) hours or less, the meal period must begin no earlier than the conclusion of the second hour worked and end no later than the commencement of the fifth hour of work
- If employees work more than seven (7) hours, the first meal period must begin no earlier than the conclusion of the third hour worked and end no later than the commencement of the sixth hour of work
Except for employees who are under the age of 18, employers may require employees to work through their meal periods if they show that to do so would impose an undue hardship on the employers’ operations and they comply with the requirements listed below.
- The employers provide the employees adequate paid periods in which to rest, consume a meal, and use the restroom;
- The employers first have each employee sign a notice and waiver issued by the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries regarding rest and meal periods in the language used by the employer to communicate with the employee; and
- The employers retain and keep available to the commissioner a copy of the notice for the duration of the employee’s employment and for no less than six months after the termination date of the employee.
For purposes of the meal period requirements, undue hardship means significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature or structure of the employer’s business. For the purpose of determining whether providing a meal period requires significant difficulty or expense, the following factors may be considered:
- The employer’s cost of complying with the meal period requirements.
- The employer’s overall financial resources.
- The number of individuals employed at a particular worksite and their qualifications and ability to relieve other employees who are taking meal breaks.
- The total number of persons employed by the employer.
- The number, type, and geographic separateness of the employer’s worksites.
- The effect of providing the meal period on worksite operations involving: the startup or shutdown of machinery in continuous-operation industrial processes; intermittent and unpredictable workflow not in the control of the employer or employee; the perishable nature of materials used on the job; and the safety and health of other employees, patients, clients or the public.
Employers may also require employees, except those under the age of 18, to work through their meal periods or provide shorter meal periods if they show:
- There is an industry practice or custom where employers provide paid meal periods to employees that last less than 30 minutes (but no less than 20 minutes) during which the employees are relieved of all duty; or
- They failed to provide meal periods because there were unforeseeable equipment failures, acts of nature or other exceptional and unanticipated circumstances that only rarely and temporarily preclude them from allowing the employees to take meal periods. In these situations, employers must pay employees for the entire 30-minute meal period even if the employees were able to take a portion of it.
Tipped employee meal period waiver of meal periods
Oregon labor laws allow employees to waive their right to take a meal period if the following requirements are met:
- The employees are employed to serve food or beverages, receives tips, and reports the tips to their employers;
- The employees are at least 18 years of age;
- The employees voluntarily request to waive their meal periods after having worked for the employers no less than seven (7) calendar days;
- The employees request to waive their meal periods using waiver request forms issued by the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries that are signed and dated by both the employees and employers;
- The employers retain and keep available for inspection copies of the employees’ requests to waive their meal periods for as long as the employees work for the employers plus at least an additional six (6) months after the separation from employment;
- The employers provide the employees with reasonable opportunities to consume food during any work period of six (6) hours or more while continuing to work;
- The employers pay the employees for any and all meal periods during which the employees are not completely relieved of all duties;
- The employers do not require the employees to work longer than eight hours without receiving a 30-minute meal period during which the employees are relieved of all duties;
- The employers make and keep available for inspection accurate records of hours worked by each employee that clearly indicate whether or not the employee has received meal periods;
- The employers post notices provided by the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries regarding rest and meal periods in a conspicuous and accessible place where all employees can view it; and
- The employers do not coerce employees to waive their right to meal periods
Employees who have requested to waive their meal periods may at any time request to take a meal period without revoking the agreement to waive the meal periods generally. Employees who would like to take meal periods without revoking their signed wavier must request to take meal periods in writing at least 24 hours before they would like to take the meal periods. OAR 839-020-0050(8)(c)
Either the employers or employees may revoke the meal period waivers by providing at least seven (7) days’ written notice to the other. OAR 839-020-0050(8)(b)
Employers will be considered to have coerced employees to sign meal period waivers if any of the following occur:
- The employers request or require employees to sign a request to waive meal periods;
- The employers require employees to waive meal periods as a condition of employment at the time of hire or at any time while employed;
- The employers request or require any person, including another employee, to request or require employees to waive meal periods; or
- The employees sign forms requesting to waive meal periods prior to being employed for seven (7) calendar days.
Oregon labor laws require employers to provide employees 18 years of age and over with paid, uninterrupted 10-minute rest breaks for every four (4) hour segment or major portion thereof that they work in a work period. Employers must provide employees under the age of 18 with paid, uninterrupted 15-minute rest breaks for every four (4) hour segment or major portion thereof that they work in a work period. OAR 839-021-0072(1) Employers must provide rest breaks as follows:
- 0 to 2 hours – 0 rest periods
- 2 to 6 hours – 1 rest period
- 6 to 10 hours – 2 rest periods
- 10 to 14 hours – 3 rest periods
- 14 to 18 hours – 4 rest periods
- 18 to 22 hours – 5 rest periods
- 22 hours to 24 hours – 6 rest periods
Employees should allow employees to take their rest breaks in the middle of each four (4) hour segment, whenever possible. Employers must provide rest periods in addition to and taken separately from meal periods. Employers may not require or allow employees to add their rest periods meal periods or deduct the rest period from the beginning or end of the employees’ work periods to reduce the overall length of the work period. Oregon labor law places the burden on employers to show that they provided the required rest periods. OAR 839-020-0050(6)(a)
Employer are not required to provide rest periods to employees when all of the following conditions are met:
- The employees are 18 years of age or older;
- The employees work less than five hours in any period of 16 continuous hours;
- The employees are working alone;
- The employees are employed in a retail or service establishment, i.e., a place where goods and services are sold to the general public, not for resale; and
- The employers allow the employees to leave their assigned stations when the employees need to use the restroom facilities.
Collective bargaining agreements
Employers and employees’ bargaining representative may agree to meal and break period policies that deviate from those required by state law. OAR 839-020-0050(7)
Substitutes at primary and secondary education institutions
Public school districts, education service districts, or public charter schools may provide any person substituting for a regular teacher with the same rest and meal periods to which the regular teacher is entitled under any applicable law, employment contract, policy, or collective bargaining agreement. OAR 839-020-0050(9)
Work period defined
For purposes of meal and break period rules, work periods are the period between the time employees begin work and the time they end work. They include:
- rest periods
- any period of one (1) hour or less, other than a designated meal period, during which the employees are relieved of all duties
- meal periods where employees are paid because the employees not relieved of all duties for the duration of the meal periods
Meal periods where employees are relieved of all duties are not included in the meaning of work period. OAR 839-020-0050(11)
(See also OAR 839-020-0051 Rest Periods for Expression of Milk)
Information about Oregon vacation leave laws may now be found on our Oregon Leave Laws page.
Information about Oregon sick leave laws may now be found on our Oregon Leave Laws page.
Information about Oregon holiday leave laws may now be found on our Oregon Leave Laws page.
Jury Duty Leave
Information about Oregon jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Oregon Leave Laws page.
Information about Oregon voting leave laws may now be found on our Oregon Leave Laws page.
Oregon labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance benefits. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.