Oregon – Minimum Wage, Overtime, Hours and Leave



Minimum Wage

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:


Overtime

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.


Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Oregon may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Oregon Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.


Meals and Breaks

Meal periods

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

OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(2)(a), OR Admin. Rules 839-021-0072(1)

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

OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(d)

Exceptions

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.

OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(3), (5)

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.

OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(4)

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.

OAR 839-020-0050(3)

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

OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(8)(a), (d)

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. OR Admin. Rules 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. OR Admin. Rules 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.

OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(8)(e)

Break periods

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

OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(6)(a)

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. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(6)(a)

Employers 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.

OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(6)(b)

Collective bargaining agreements

Employers and employees’ bargaining representative may agree to meal and break period policies that deviate from those required by state law. OR Admin. Rules 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. OR Admin. Rules 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. OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050(11)

Resources: OR Statute 653.261; OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0050; OR Bureau of Labor FAQs: Meal and Rest Periods.

Nursing Mother Breaks

Oregon labor laws require employers to allow employees who are nursing mothers to take reasonable breaks to express milk for up to 18 months after the birth of the child. Employees, if feasible, show take the nursing mother breaks to express milk at the same time as the meal or rest periods they are otherwise provided by the employer. If not feasible, the employer must permit the employee to take unpaid nursing mother breaks each time the employees needs to express milk.

Employers are required to make reasonable efforts to provide employee who are nursing mothers with a private location within close proximity to the employee’s work area to express milk. A private location is a place, other than a public restroom or toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area for the employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public and includes, but is not limited to:

  • The employee’s work area if the work area permits the employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public.
  • A room connected to a public restroom, such as a lounge, if the room allows the employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public.
  • A child care facility where the employee can express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public.
  • An empty or unused office, conference room, or a storage space, so long as there is a door that closes and any windows can be covered, and there is a sign that can be placed on the door or handle of the door indicating that the room is in use.
  • If a private location is not within close proximity to the employee’s work area, the employer may not include the time taken to travel to and from the location as part of the break period.

The following definitions apply for purposes of providing locations for nursing mother breaks:

  • A public restroom is a restroom freely available for use by employees or the general public that does not include an attached lounge or room that allows an employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public.
  • A toilet stall includes a restroom that contains one toilet, whether or not in plain view, and whether or not the restroom locks from the inside
  • Close proximity means within walking distance from the employee’s work area that does not appreciably shorten the rest or meal period

The following rules and limitations also apply:

  • If an employee takes unpaid rest periods, the employer may, but is not required to, allow the employee to work before or after the employee’s normal shift to make up the amount of time used during the unpaid rest periods. If the employee does not work to make up the amount of time used during the unpaid rest periods, the employer is not required to compensate the employee for that time.
  • An employer may not require an employee, including an employee who is FLSA exempt, to substitute paid leave time for unpaid rest periods provided in compliance with these rules.
  • An employer with ten (10) or fewer employees is not required to provide nursing mother breaks if doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business. 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 nursing mother breaks requires significant difficulty or expense, the following factors will be considered:
    • The nature and the cost of complying with the requirement to provide a reasonable rest period for the expression of milk.
    • The overall financial resources of the employer’s facility or facilities involved in complying with the requirement to provide a reasonable rest period for the expression of milk, the number of persons employed at the facility and the effect on expenses and resources or other effects on the operation of the facility caused by the necessity for compliance with the requirement to provide a reasonable rest period in a private location.
    • The overall financial resources of the employer, the overall size of the employer’s business with respect to the number of its employees and the number, type and location of the employer’s facilities.
    • The type of operations conducted by the employer, including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce of the employer and the geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the employer.
  • An employer is required provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee’s or applicant’s limitations related to the expression of milk in accordance with OL CH. 139, 2019.
  • When possible, an employee who intends to express milk during work hours must give the employer reasonable oral or written notice of the employee’s intention to allow the employer time to make the preparations necessary for compliance with OR Statute 653.077 and these rules. Failure to give notice is not grounds for discipline.
  • An employer must notify all employees, through its policies or other means, of the person or entity to whom an employee should give notice of intent to express milk. If the employer does not provide such notification, the employee’s oral or written notice to a supervisor, manager, or human resource or personnel department or their staff will be presumed sufficient.
  • After receiving notice from the employee, the employer may take a reasonable time to make necessary preparations for compliance with OR Statute 653.077 and this rule. A reasonable time must not interfere with the rights provided by OR Statute 653.077 and this rule, taking into consideration the immediacy of the employee’s need to express milk, and that the rights under OR Statute 653.077 and this rule apply only until the employee’s child is 18 months of age. For example, an employer in the process of creating a private location for expressing milk must provide the most adequate space already available for an employee who gives notice of an immediate need.
  • An employee who are nursing mothers are responsible for storing the employee’s expressed milk. The employer must allow the employee to bring a cooler or other insulated food container to work for storing the expressed milk and ensure there is adequate space in the workplace to accommodate the employee’s cooler or insulated food container. If the employer allows employees access to refrigeration for personal use, the employer may allow, but cannot require, an employee who expresses milk during work hours to use the available refrigeration to store the expressed milk.
  • Employees who are exempt administrative, executive or professional employees are eligible for nursing mother breaks.
  • The provisions of this rule may be modified by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement if the collective bargaining agreement entered into by the employee includes provisions that prescribe rules pertaining to reasonable rest periods for the expression of milk.
  • Each school district board must adopt a policy to accommodate an employee who needs to express milk for the employee’s child.

OR Statute 653.077; OR Admin. Rules 839-020-0051


Vacation Leave

Information about Oregon vacation leave laws may now be found on our Oregon Leave Laws page.


Sick Leave

Information about Oregon sick leave laws may now be found on our Oregon Leave Laws page.


Holiday Leave

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.


Voting Leave

Information about Oregon voting leave laws may now be found on our Oregon Leave Laws page.


Severance Pay

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.


Unemployment

Under certain circumstances, Oregon residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Oregon State Unemployment Benefits.


FREE EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATES
Employment laws can change in a moment. Sign up for out free email updates to stay informed.