As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has issued a temporary order applicable to Oregon’s manufacturing facilities in regards to the maximum hours employees in manufacturing are allowed to work. Specifically, the order removes overtime limitations in the manufacturing sector allowing for up to a 91-hour workweek. This order is in effect from March 27, 2020 to September 22, 2020.
Prior Manufacturing Overtime Rules
Employees in manufacturing establishments are limited to working 55 hours per workweek, unless the employee consents in writing to up to a 60 hour workweek. There are also provisions for manufacturers that produce perishable products, allowing for 84-hour workweeks during busy times of year.
Moreover, employees cannot work over 13 hours in a single work shift and they must get paid overtime at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours of work in one workweek.
COVID-19 Working Hour Exemptions for Manufacturers
With this temporary order, employers involved in manufacturing products which reasonably result in the preservation of life and property may seek to claim the exemption to allow employees to work up to 91 hours in a workweek. BOLI describes products that “reasonably result in the preservation of life and property” to include but not limited to manufacturers that are part of the supply chain for food or medical equipment and have seen increased demand during the pandemic. The exemption could apply to garment factories producing medical personal protective equipment (PPE), scrubs, or gowns. However, this exemption is not specifically limited to just these manufacturers.
Employers do not have to be approved by BOLI before increasing hours. However, employers must provide BOLI with notice within 7 days and employers must have consent forms signed by the affected employees prior to increasing hours. The employer notice and employee waiver are available on BOLI’s website.
Important note: This temporary order DOES NOT change the fact that employees in manufacturing cannot work over 13 hours in a single work shift and these employees must get paid overtime at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours of work in one workweek or 10 hours in a day, whichever is more.
Other important notes: Employers cannot coerce employees into working more overtime hours; employers cannot ask employees to work additional overtime hours unless the employee consents in writing; employees can revoke consent at any time.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.