Recently the Oregon legislature passed, and Governor Kate Brown signed, Senate Bill (SB) 1513, revising the Beaver State’s overtime rules for bakers. In addition, the legislature passed House Bill (HB) 4002, revamping the overtime entitlements for farmworkers. That bill is before Governor Brown, who is expected to sign it. As both laws first take effect at the beginning of 2023, employers in these industries should review their pay practices in the coming months to ensure future compliance.
Based on legislators’ stated concerns that bakery workers should not be penalized for refusing last-minute overtime obligations, the Oregon legislature passed SB 1513, limiting bakeries from imposing overtime on workers without at least five days’ notice. Effective January 1, 2023, any manufacturing establishment classified as a “bakery” by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) may not discipline an employee who refuses to work mandatory overtime unless the employer has provided at least five days’ advance notice. The advance notice must specify the anticipated shift’s date and time. The bill authorizes Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries to investigate violations and enforce compliance.
Traditionally, both federal and state law exempt agricultural workers from overtime requirements for work beyond 40 hours in a week, with only seven states providing for overtime pay for farmworkers. With the passage of HB 4002, Oregon would become the eighth such state if Governor Brown signs the bill into law. Proponents of the law assert that traditional overtime rules, typically excluding farmworkers, are outdated and unfair. Subject to certain exceptions, the bill extends overtime entitlements to agricultural workers, dairy employees, employees involved with raising livestock, bees, or fur-bearing animals, and some others. Overtime obligations are phased in under the new law, starting on January 1, 2023. During the first phase, which extends through 2024, covered employers must pay overtime at the rate of one and one-half an employee’s regular rate when the employee works over 55 hours in a week. For calendar years 2025 and 2026, the overtime requirement begins at 48 hours per week and, beginning in January 2027, the requirement will apply to all work in excess of 40 hours per week.