Oregon Labor Laws

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, or BOLI, govern all labor laws in the state. BOLI works to protect the rights of workers, ensure non-discriminatory treatment and enforce compliance with state laws relating to wages, hours, and conditions of employment. The also spend time educating and training employers about wage, hours and civil rights laws.

How much am I gonna get? (Wages)

Minimum wage in Oregon as of January 1st, 2009 is $8.40. This wage will be in effect until December 31st, 2010. Oregon law requires minimum wage to be adjusted annually to account for inflation. This adjustment will differ from year to year and is announced by September 30th.


Any hours worked in excess of forty in a given week must be paid at one and a half time the employee’s regular rate. No matter what your employer tells you payment of overtime is required by law and cannot be waived through any sort of agreement. Time off in lieu of overtime pay must be taken in the same work week.

Some employees are exempt from overtime regulations because of the nature of their position. This list includes salespeople, mechanics, truck drivers, seamen and workers in the motion picture industry. For a full list of exemptions, or to determine if you are exempt contact an attorney or the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Maternity Leave

The Oregon Family Leave Act deals with maternity leave and other types of leave involving family issues.

There is no law that requires an employer to pay for time off before or after child birth. The law is in place to protect your job during the time you are away. An eligible female employee can take up to thirty-six weeks of leave for child birth. However, this must be taken under three separate twelve week classifications that you must qualify for. They are the pregnancy disability leave, parental leave, and sick child leave. This leave can be taken before, during or after child birth in any proportion. The only stipulation is that the thirty-six weeks must be taken within a twelve month period.

Nursing on the Job

Something you may not know? Upon returning to work after giving birth employers with twenty-five or more employees are required to give all Mothers who are breast feeding a child 18-months or younger unpaid rest periods of at least thirty minutes for every four hours worked.

Working while under the age of eighteen

Individuals as young as fourteen can be employed in Oregon, but under more strict guidelines. Each underage employee does not require a permit (the employer’s permit covers all underage employees for his/her business). All laws covering wage, overtime and any other basic employee rights apply to employees under the age of eighteen.

Some of the restrictions that apply to underage employees include guidelines on the number of hours a person under the age of 16 can work and an expanded break schedule.


BOLI run programs designed to field a highly skilled, competitive workforce. This includes many different types of apprenticeships. To learn more about these programs or to apply, contact your local office of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.

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