Oregon Passes Law Clarifying Daily Overtime and Creating New Maximum Weekly Hours Worked Requirements in Certain Industries

July, 2017


By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
rorr@cascadeemployers.com

As a reminder, Oregon had a long-standing rule that required employers in manufacturing, mills, and factories to pay either daily overtime for hours worked by non-exempt employees in excess of 10 or weekly overtime for hours worked in excess of 40, whichever is greater. In December 2016, BOLI reversed its interpretation and began requiring employers to pay a combined total of daily and weekly overtime.

These recent amendments enacted by the legislature have clarified the language in the statute, so that once again, covered employers need to pay only the greater of daily or weekly overtime. This change will become effective immediately upon signing of the act. Additionally, the amendments clarify that canneries, driers, and packing plants not located on farms that primarily process products on those farms are also subject to the daily and weekly overtime rules.

Beginning January 1, 2018, these covered establishments will not be able to allow an employee to work more than 55 hours in a workweek, unless the employee consents to working more, in which case the employee may work up to 60 hours in a workweek. Employers who process perishable products may apply to BOLI for an undue hardship exceptions to this rule. Employers may apply for multiple undue hardship periods, and the total length of all undue hardship periods may not exceed 21 weeks in a calendar year. If granted, employees may consent to working up to 84 hours per week for up to 4 weeks during the undue hardship period and up to 80 hours per week during the remainder of the undue hardship period.

With limited exception, employers must provide employees with at least 10 hours of rest between shifts if the prior shift totaled 8 or more hours. Employees of covered employers are still not allowed to work more than 13 hours in a day.

The overtime and maximum hour requirements of the statute do not apply to employees who:

  • Work as a member of a logging train crew, as a guard or as a boiler operator;
  • Are engaged in the transportation of workers to and from work;
  • Are engaged in the care of quarters or livestock, the conducting of mess halls, the superintendence and direction of work, or the loading and removal of finished forest product;
  • Are engaged in making necessary repairs or in the case of emergency where life or property is in imminent danger;
  • Are employed in a cannery, drier or packing plant that is located on a farm and primarily processes products produced on the farm;
  • Are employed by a seafood processor; or
  • Are engaged in principal duties that are administrative in nature or otherwise not engaged in the direct processing of goods in the usual course of the employee’s duties.
  • Are represented by a labor organization with a collective bargaining agreement that addressed overtime and maximum hours worked.

Finally, seafood processors have been given their own rules, which require daily overtime for employees who work in excess of 10 in a day, but no weekly overtime. Employees of seafood processors who are primarily engaged in administrative work are not covered by this daily overtime requirement.

The penalties for violation of these new rules are stiff and include the greater of actual damages or $3,000, liquidated damages equal to twice the employee’s overtime wages earned, attorney fees, and civil penalties of up to $3,000 per violation.

For questions about how the new overtime law may affect your organization, give us a call today.

 

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