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Oregon Minimum Wage Hikes Begin July 2016

By Sarah J. Ryan and April Upchurch Fredrickson
  • March 14, 2016

While the federal minimum wage remains stagnant ($7.25 per hour since July 24, 2009), different states have sought to lead with their own minimum wage rulemaking.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed controversial Senate Bill 1532 on March 2, 2016, significantly increasing Oregon’s minimum wage over the next seven years by raising the minimum wage annually on July 1. The first increases are scheduled to take place on July 1, 2016.

As with recent wage laws elsewhere, the new Oregon statute is based on regions. The minimum wage rate for an Oregon employee now will be determined by the location of the employer within three separately defined “regions.”

Employers located in Region 1, those within the Portland Urban Growth Boundary, will see the greatest minimum wage increase over the seven-year period and will be required to pay $14.75 per hour by July 2022. By July 2022, minimum wage will be $13.50 per hour for Region 2 and $12.50 per hour for Region 3.

The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries has been directed to promulgate rules for determining an employer’s location and, thus, its minimum wage schedule for employers located within the Portland urban growth boundary (Portland and certain portions of Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties).

As the new law affects not just workers’ hourly pay owed, but also posting requirements, and, potentially, commission plans, all employers with Oregon operations should consult with employment counsel, analyze the new law, and adjust their practices accordingly. Oregon, like neighboring California, has adopted stringent penalties for wage violations, even where unpaid wages are relatively small.

©2016 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

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