Oregon Clarifies Employers' "Location" for Its New Region-Based Minimum Wage

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

April 22, 2016

When Oregon passed a new minimum wage law that will establish three different wage rates for three different regions of the state, many employers wondered how they would determine which rate will apply to which employees.

Now the state labor agency has proposed new rules that, if adopted, will define an employer's location and clarify how employees should be paid if they work in more than one region.

The rules state:

"Employer's location" means any place where an employer employs any employee for more than an incidental period of time during the employee's established workweek. An employer has more than one location if the employer has employees performing work in multiple regions during the same pay period. For example, an employer whose headquarters is located in Region 1 who provides contracted janitorial services to buildings in Region 1 and Region 2 is located in both Region 1 and Region 2. (emphasis added)

An incidental period of time means less than four hours of an employee's compensable time during any workweek. Time spent by an employee in a region solely for the purpose of traveling through the region from a point outside the region to another outside the region with no employment or work-related stops is an incidental period of time.

The proposed rules' definition of workweek -- any seven consecutive 24-hour periods as determined by the employer -- corresponds to the federal definition of workweek used for determining employee overtime.

If an employee performs work for more than an incidental period of time in more than one region during a workweek, the employer must pay the employee either:

  • The highest minimum wage required for any region in which the employee worked during the workweek for all hours worked by the employee; or
  • The applicable minimum wage for each hour worked in each region in which the employee worked during the workweek.

Employers can send comments on the proposed rules by email or by mail to Marcia Ohlemiller c/o BOLI, 800 NE Oregon St. #1045, Portland OR 97232. The deadline is May 23.