The Oregon minimum wage will increase by 10 cents per hour from $8.40 to $8.50 on January 1, 2011. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian recently announced the increase based on a 1.15% increase in the Consumer Price Index for the year ending September 1, 2010.
This is the first increase in the Oregon minimum wage since January 1, 2009. This change means that Oregon maintains the second-highest minimum wage in the nation in 2011. The highest minimum wage is in neighboring Washington state, where the current rate of $8.55 will increase to $8.67 in 2011.
According to Commissioner Avakian, “This modest increase is the result of a slowly but steadily rising cost of living facing Oregon workers. By helping workers and their families preserve their purchasing power in difficult times, (more…)
Effective July 1, 2010 a new Oregon law limits how an employer may use an employee’s credit history. The new law prohibits discrimination against employees with bad credit history. The law applies to any employment action including hiring, promotion, demotion, termination, retaliation, etc.
Use of a credit report to select applicants has become a thorny issue in the past two years, as many competent employees have been laid off and unable to pay their bills. Others were caught in an upside-down mortgage when the real estate bubble burst, and in extreme cases have had a home foreclosure or declared bankruptcy. The law was passed because Oregon legislators believe that depriving these people of jobs is not in the state’s best interest.
Under federal regulations, an employer can consider a worker’s credit history when making hiring decisions for positions of responsibility, usually assumed to mean for management positions. The assumption is that someone with a poor credit history displays bad judgment in his or her personal life, and would not be any better at handling the employer’s money.
The Oregon minimum wage will remain at $8.40 in 2010, according to Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. The Commissioner recently announced that due to a decline of 1.48% in the cost of living, the state minimum wage would be unchanged.
“Under the circumstances, a steady minimum wage is good for Oregon’s businesses and working people,” Commissioner Avakian said. He pointed out that with the economy struggling, this would allow minimum wage employees to maintain their purchasing power and contribute to recovery. Avakian added, “At the same time, employers who are in difficult financial situations can breathe a little easier because there labor costs will remain constant.”
Tipped Oregon food service workers over the age of 18 may opt out of their required 30-minute meal breaks if they like. The employee must complete a waiver form, available in English or Spanish from the BOLI website.
Employers cannot require an employee to waive breaks, or coerce employees to do so under the new regulations. Either the employer or the employee can revoke the waiver at any time by written notice.
However, if the employer has a signed, non-revoked waiver on file, the employee (more…)
Under the Oregon meal break law, employers must provide a meal break of 30 minutes or more to any employee who works more than 6 hours. Employees who work less than 6 hours are not entitled to a meal break.