Oregon has been at the forefront of reforming the law that relates to the rights of workers as well as the ways in which they are compensated for their work. These laws have an impact on manufacturers as they are implemented. One of the areas that has been of key interest is that of overtime. The state has laws that specify what an employer can and cannot do when it comes to allocating overtime. It all depends on the type of worker and their contractual relationship. The current statute came into being on the 8th of August, 2017 following ratification by the state governor.
Under the terms of the new law, most employers within the manufacturing sector are required to pay their workers an enhancement if they happen to have worked more than 10 hours on any given day. The same law applies if they work for more than 40 hours in a given week. At the same time, the provisions of the law set a firm weekly maximum of 55 hours for workers in the manufacturing sector. The intention of the law is to prevent employers from extracting exploitative labor from their workers through increasing the number of hours worked whilst maintaining a single monthly salary. It is a loophole that is typical of the manufacturing industry, in which the pressure to keep costs down can be overwhelming.
Key Provisions Within the Statute
The law is designed to target those people who are employed within Oregon’s factories, mills, and other forms of manufacturing. This brings to the fore certain key issues that have to be addressed when setting up work contracts. The law is meant to exempt certain categories of workers in certain situations so that the employer is not left stranded by a lack of workers who are able and willing to do overtime. A case in point is when the workers are engaged in processing goods that are perishable. This is a sector that demands high flexibility in order to ensure that the produce does not expire or become unusable. If the strictest interpretations of the law were used, then it would mean that many industries that employ the people of Oregon would have no option but to close down. That is a risk that the legislators were anxious to moderate and mitigate.
The fact that certain employers are exempted from the maximum weekly hour limits does not mean that they are not paid for overtime. It merely implies that the employer has the flexibility to call them back in for work if required over and above the limit. This process is meant to be consensual, and it is not anticipated that employers will intimidate workers into accepting terms that are inferior to the ones that were envisaged within the law. It is imperative for employers to get legal advice from overtime law attorneys that understand these provisions of the law. The fact that the statute is still being implemented in its infancy stage calls for particular caution on the part of employers.
Specifications for Overtime Calculations
The law creates formulas that are both prospective and predictive when determining the level of pay and working hours. This is meant to ensure that both the employer and employee have a generally good idea of what they are to expect within a reasonable period of time. Of course, there is always an option to make appropriate amendments as long as proper notice is given. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has been issuing guidance to employers in these sectors. Contact us at (206)-400-7722 for further support and advice.