Wage & Hour


Good Bye and Good Luck

A Simple Guide to final time, final checks and final good-byes! Remember when (oh, about 20 years ago, maybe?) the standard “good bye” that was expected from an employee was the “Two-Week Notice” that they were quitting? Then laws were passed – the Oregon “at will” employment law became the norm and voila! Both employee and employer can “leave at will” which translates to “gone at any moment” terminations or an employee’s quick phone call […]


Ask HR: Rules for Employing Minors?

Dear HR: I want to hire a 17-year-old that has already been working for me through a WorkSource GED program. The job duties include mowing, weed-whacking, gardening, fencing repair, painting, cleaning, etc. What are the rules I need to keep in mind when moving forward with hiring a minor? A. First, and most importantly, an Oregon employer who hires minors 14 through 17 years of age must apply to the Bureau of Labor and Industries […]


Ask HR: Employee has been accidentally overpaid.

Dear HR, Due to a reporting error by my employee, they were over-paid 5.75 hours for the last pay period. We have a signed payroll deduct form authorizing the deduction of those hours from the next pay check; but now we need to terminate this employee for a major policy violation. Are there special rules on deducting from a final check? What is the max amount or % that can be deducted?   HR Answer: […]


Ask HR: Can a husband-wife team’s pay go to one person?

Dear HR, We employ a husband and wife that work together as a property management team. While they will record their work time separately for record-keeping, they have requested that their total monthly salary and in-kind rents all be paid in the husband’s name. Is this legally permissible?   HR Answer, Cardinal is unable to combine the time reported by both employees into one payment to be made to a single employee each month. Having […]


Ask HR: Can I charge for extra uniforms?

Dear HR, May I deduct the cost of the additional uniforms from my employee’s paycheck? I provide two uniforms to each new employee upon hire. A few of my employees have requested to purchase additional shirts for their own convenience so they do not have to do laundry as often. I am willing to offer a 50% discount for additional shirts. My employees are hoping to have the balance deducted from their pay check.   […]


Ask HR: Can employer deduct for uniforms or tools?

Dear HR, Can an employer deduct for the purchase of uniforms or tools from an employee’s paycheck?   HR Answer: No. Payroll deductions may not be taken for any item required to perform the job. Many states actually require the employer pay the cost of the uniform if the employer requires that an employee wear a uniform, including Oregon and California. The only exception to this rule is the requirement of a “generic uniform” which […]


Meal Times and Rest Breaks – Do you know the law?

One of the most common complaints that lead to lawsuits against employers is the lack of adequate meal and rest breaks for employees. Wage and hour laws regulate basic working conditions such as meals and rest breaks. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure supervisors are knowledgeable of these workplace wage and hour rules. Well-intentioned employers who are NOT enforcing these rules are far more likely to have an employee file an employment-related […]


Ask HR: Does working four 10-hour shifts require overtime pay?

Dear HR, Did Oregon’s manufacturing overtime rule change this year? I thought I saw a change last year for manufacturing that required both daily and weekly overtime. My question is—would four 10-hour shifts per week require any overtime pay?   HR Answer: The previous interpretation of the law by BOLI required the payment of overtime to manufacturing employees for BOTH daily and weekly overtime hours worked. Effective in August 2017, manufacturing employers should calculate overtime […]


Ask HR: Lowering an Employee’s Pay- Is that legal?

Dear HR, My employee has been here about 60 days now and I can honestly say that his skill set is not much higher than the day we hired him. We really like him, his attendance is good, he is punctual, he seems to like working here, but I cannot justify his pay rate. He is very slow and has very low learning curve even on basic tasks for our industry. His foreman is really […]


NEW Oregon Equal Pay Act

What Every Oregon Employer Needs to Know Governor Kate Brown signed Oregon House Bill 2005 on June 1, 2017. Most of the provisions of the new Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 (EPA) go into effect on January 1, 2019. Oregon’s EPA establishes significant penalties for pay discrepancies between those in protected classes and those who are not. Oregon’s EPA makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers to: Screen job seekers based on current […]