For both large and small business owners, following employment law is a necessity if you want to stay in business and stay away from the steep fines you can face. This is easier said than done in certain areas where the laws are tighter and work more regulated. Oregon is one of these, making it a perfect place to work for employees, but making life more difficult for the employers. Unlike some states, Oregon has rather strict laws when it comes to workers who were hired with an hourly contract. So, how do you know you are obeying the laws when employing hourly workers?
Rights of the Workers
It is best, before you start hiring (or as soon as possible, if the hiring has already happened), to familiarize yourself with the labor laws found in Oregon. You do not want to simply assume that you know what the law is, because the chance of being wrong is too high. For example, this state is one of the few that has a minimum wage higher than that of the standard federal minimum wage, Oregon’s being $9.25 per hour as opposed to the federal government’s $7.25 per hour. This makes working in Oregon slightly more expensive than working in other states with a lower minimum wage.
There are also strict laws pertaining to the breaks that you must give your workers while they are performing their duties. For a worker over the age of 18, you must schedule a 30-minute meal break every six hours and an uninterrupted rest break of ten minutes every four hours. For those under the age of 18, along with the 30-minute meal break, you must give them 15-minute breaks every four hours. Overtime pay is worth considering, too. If you have employees working overtime, you must pay them 1.5 times their original salary for the extra hours worked, frequently called “time and a half.”
Keeping Up with the Law
Because these laws and other labor laws found in Oregon are so strict, following them can be a difficult problem if you are not conscientious about the hiring and work practices of your business. This means that you or whoever does the hiring and supervising should be tenacious in making sure that all laws are met. It will take some extra work and can be more expensive than working in states with less regulation. However, these laws do exist to protect the employees of a business from employers who would take advantage of the lack of laws should they not be there.
There are, of course, consequences should you not follow these laws, whether it be because of an accident or because of a conscious decision that was made. The most common consequence business owners find themselves facing is a fine. This fine can change in amount based on the details of the offense; workers going too long without a break, workers under the age of 18 working too many hours, or paying less than Oregon’s minimum wage are just a few of the offenses that merit fines. This makes it imperative that you keep track of everything that happens in your business.
Hourly contracts in Oregon are something that can be difficult to handle for some. They are strict to protect the employees but at a detriment to the employers. The laws do benefit some but become more costly and more of a problem to many others. Should you not follow those laws, you will face fines and other consequences. This makes hourly work troublesome, complicated, and too much for some business owners. For further information, contact HKM Employment Attorneys.