New Oregon Overtime Law both Giveth to, and Taketh Away from, Manufacturing Employers
Effective immediately, Oregon’s law has been clarified to provide relief to non-union employers operating mills, factories or other manufacturing facilities with respect to certain overtime pay obligations, but also has been revised, effective January 1, 2018, to limit the number of weekly hours employees in such establishments may work.
Previously, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) had concluded that employees who worked enough hours to qualify for both daily overtime pay (for 10 or more hours worked in a single day) and weekly overtime pay (more than 40 hours total in a given week) were entitled to receive both, thereby requiring employers to pay twice for some overtime hours. The new law rejects BOLI’s interpretation and establishes that employees are entitled only to the greater of either daily or weekly overtime, not both.
In addition, the new law limits such manufacturing employees to working no more than 55 hours, or at employee request or by employee consent up to 60 hours, per week absent undue hardship. Existing law already limited manufacturing employers to no more than 13-hour workdays. Driven primarily by the state’s significant wine, agricultural and fishing industries and their seasonal harvesting demands, the new law does allow employees who process perishable products to consent to work up to 84 hours per week, with certain limitations. However, the law also prohibits employers from disciplining employees who refuse to consent to work more than 55 hours a week and provides statutory and liquidated damages for violations of the daily or weekly work-hour maximums.