All Oregon employees have specific rights under both state and federal wage and hour laws. On the federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employer pay employees a minimum hourly wage of $7.25 per hour, as well as time and a half that hourly wage for overtime hours. Oregon employment laws enforce a higher minimum wage than FLSA, as Oregon employers must pay employees at least $8.95 per hour. These laws are enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).
Wage and Hour Classifications
In order to have rights under these wage and hour laws, first you must be classified as an “employee.” Independent contractors are not subject to the same wage and hour regulations as employees. Some employers misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid following the laws. However, the law sets out factors that allow you to determine your correct classification. Such a determination largely centers on how much control the employer has over you. The more control they have, the more likely it is that you should be classified as an employee.
Employers do not have to follow wage and hour requirements for all employees, however. In fact, many employees may be considered exempt. FLSA and Oregon laws set out several exemptions for certain types of employees. For example, some types of employees who may be exempt include:
-Academic or creative professionals
-Highly compensated employees
-Workers on small farms
-Casual babysitters or companions to the elderly
Wage and Hour Rights
If you are classified as an employee and are not exempt under the law, you are entitled to at least the set minimum hourly and overtime wages. You must be paid such a wage for all time you work, including time spent preparing to work or cleaning up a workstation at the end of the day. You must be paid for training, meetings, or lectures required for your job. Your employer must keep a regular pay schedule, such as weekly, biweekly, or monthly. If your employment ends, you are entitled to receive a final paycheck with payment for all hours you worked.
Furthermore, you are entitled to certain working conditions. First and foremost, your employer has a duty to keep the workplace safe and sanitary. Your employer must provide you with a certain amount of break time for rest or meals, depending on the length of your work day.
Employers must follow federal and state wage and hour laws for all qualified employees and must keep up minimum working conditions. If you believe your employer has violated any employment laws, you may bring a claim in court and receive the compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact HKM Employment Attorneys today.