What is Minimum Wage in Oregon?

What is Minimum Wage in Oregon?

Oregon adjusted its minimum wage system in 2023.

From that point forward, the minimum wage will automatically increase each year based on inflation.

As of July 1st, 2023, these are the new rates:

  • Portland metro: $15.45 per hour
  • Standard: $14.20 per hour
  • Non-urban: $13.20 per hour

It’s important to note that these rates apply to different areas within the state.

The state has a tool to help employers figure out which rate applies to their specific location.

An image illustration of What is Minimum Wage in Oregon
What is Minimum Wage in Oregon
Source: (Freepik)

History of the Oregon Minimum Wage

Oregon has a long and interesting history with its minimum wage, constantly adapting to find the right balance for workers and businesses.

Here’s a quick look at some key moments:

  • 1913: One of the first states, Oregon set a minimum wage, initially for women and young workers.
  • 1968: Oregon’s minimum wage aligns with the federal rate.
  • 1989: Oregon breaks away and sets its minimum wage, higher than the federal level.
  • 2002: Voters decide to tie minimum wage increases to inflation.
  • 2016: A big change! Oregon creates a tiered system with different minimum wages based on location.
  • Since 2016: The minimum wage has continued to rise, reflecting inflation and aiming for a living wage for workers across the state.

These changes show Oregon’s ongoing effort to address worker needs while keeping the economy healthy.

Exemptions and Special Cases

There are some exceptions to Oregon’s minimum wage. Here are the main ones:

  • Younger workers, student learners, and trainees might get paid less than the minimum wage.
  • In some cases, employers can pay workers with disabilities a lower wage.
  • Small businesses may have different wage rules.
  • Unpaid internships and volunteer work are usually exempt.
  • Agricultural workers have their own wage rules.

If you’re an employer, check with the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries for details on these exceptions.

Practical Strategies for Oregon Wage Law Compliance

  • Stay informed: Regularly check for updates on minimum wage, overtime rules, and other regulations. Make sure your HR and managers know the latest too.
  • Keep good records: Track employee hours, wages, and other details accurately. Consider using software for this. Keep all records safe and easy to access for a set period.
  • Clear policies: Write clear policies on wages, overtime, breaks, etc. Include them in your employee handbook and make sure everyone understands them.
  • Regular checkups: Review your wage and hour practices regularly. This includes checking how you categorize and pay your employees.
  • Train your team: Train employees, especially those who track their hours, on proper timekeeping methods.
  • Be proactive: Update your policies and practices as laws change and based on what you find during internal audits. This helps prevent legal problems down the line.
An image illustration of Minimum Wage in Oregon
Minimum Wage in Oregon
Source: (Freepik)

How Factorial Can Help You Comply with Oregon’s Wage Laws

Our HR software offers several features to simplify compliance:

  • Streamlined Payroll: Factorial manages payroll, ensuring you pay employees correctly based on Oregon’s minimum wage.
  • Holiday & Pay Period Management: No more confusion about holiday pay or pay periods. Factorial keeps track of everything.
  • Real-Time Overtime Tracking: See exactly how much overtime your non-exempt employees are working and avoid any overtime pay issues.
  • Accurate Timekeeping: Our electronic time clock ensures employees record their hours and breaks accurately, meeting all time-tracking requirements.
  • Easy Policy Management: Create and share clear employee handbooks with all wage and hour regulations right within Factorial.
  • Effortless Recordkeeping: Manage employee records electronically, making it simple to comply with Oregon’s recordkeeping rules.
  • Detailed Reports: Gain valuable insights into employee compensation, overtime, and overall payroll expenses with comprehensive reports.
  • Secure Processing: Factorial uses strong security measures to protect sensitive employee data.

By using Factorial, businesses can navigate Oregon’s wage laws with confidence, from minimum wage to overtime and recordkeeping.

Conclusion

Oregon has a unique minimum wage system with three rates depending on where you work.

This reflects the different costs of living across the state.

Portland has the highest minimum wage at $15.45, followed by standard counties at $14.20, and non-urban counties at $13.20.

Oregon is also unique in that tipped workers receive the same minimum wage as non-tipped workers.

There are some exceptions to the minimum wage, but overall, Oregon strives to ensure a fair and sustainable wage system for all workers.

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