Payment of Wages: Oregon
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Laura Salerno Owens, Barran Liebman LLP
- The term wages is
- broadly defined in the Oregon wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
- Oregon employers may pay employees in cash, by check, direct deposit or electronic paycard, so long as certain requirements are met. See Wage Payment Methods.
- All employees must be paid at least every 35 days. Penalties are imposed for violations of the pay frequency rules. Special rules apply to payment of employees who take paid sick leave. See Pay Frequency.
- With employees' consent, Oregon law allows employers to make various deductions from employees' pay. Other types of deductions are prohibited by law. Covered employers are required to participate in OregonSaves, a state-run payroll-deduction IRA program, if they do not offer a private tax-qualified retirement program to eligible employees. Covered Oregon employers must deduct and remit quarterly paid family and medical leave contributions. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
- With each payment of wages, employers must provide each employee with an accurate, itemized written pay statement. A special notification requirement applies to employees who take paid sick leave. Pay statements can be provided on paper or electronically. See Pay Statement Requirements.
- The proper time to pay a terminating employee their final pay depends on whether the termination is voluntary or involuntary and whether the employee provided sufficient notice, among other considerations. An employer is required to honor any established policy or agreement relating to the payment of benefits, such as accrued vacation or severance pay, upon termination of employment. Penalties are imposed for employer noncompliance. See Final Pay.
- After the death of an employee, employers must turn over to the surviving spouse or children any compensation owed to the deceased employee. See Deceased Employee Wages.
- Wages are considered abandoned property if they are unclaimed by an employee for three years. See Unclaimed Wages.