The Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) was created by the 1903 Legislature. The first labor commissioner, O.P. Hoff, was also the Bureau's first and only employee, responsible for enforcing child labor laws, the 10-hour working day for women and the factory inspection law. Today the Bureau's Civil Rights Division, Wage and Hour Division, Apprenticeship Division and Technical Assistance for Employers Program serve Oregonians in a variety of ways.
BOLI has offices in Portland, Salem, Eugene, Bend, Medford and Pendleton. For Bureau contact information and field office locations, click here.
The mission of the Bureau of Labor and Industries is to protect employment rights, advance employment opportunities, and protect access to housing and public accommodations free from discrimination.
The four principle duties of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) are to: 1) protect the rights of workers and citizens to equal, non-discriminatory treatment through the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws that apply to workplaces, housing and public accommodations; 2) encourage and enforce compliance with state laws relating to wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment; 3) educate and train employers to understand and comply with both wage and hour and civil rights law; and 4) promote the development of a highly skilled, competitive workforce in Oregon through the apprenticeship program and through partnerships with government, labor, business, and educational institutions.
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Office of the Labor Commissioner
The Commissioner's Office provides policy direction and overall management of the bureau's programs. Internal support services provide budget and fiscal control, employee services, and information systems management.
The Technical Assistance for Employers Program, (TA Program) housed within the Commissioner’s office, provides employers with a telephone information line, informational pamphlets and materials, and seminars and workshops to keep the business community informed about employment law compliance issues. The TA Program answers over 25,000 email and phone inquires from employers each year, conducts over 200 seminars annually, maintains a website for employers with quick access to basic employment law information and frequently asked questions, and produces several employment law resource manuals.
BOLI’s Administrative Prosecution Unit (APU) prosecutes cases on behalf of the Civil Rights Division (CRD) or Wage and Hour Division (WHD) after the Division has concluded its investigation. An investigative case becomes a contested case when the APU or WHD issue a "charging document" alleging that an individual, entity, or government agency, referred to as a "Respondent," has violated laws that BOLI is authorized to enforce. Contest case proceedings are governed by the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act and administrative rules adopted by BOLI and the Oregon Department of Justice. Some cases referred to the APU are settled or are administratively closed before a "charging document" is issued.
BOLI’s APU includes case presenters and a Chief Prosecutor, all of whom prepare and present contested cases. The Chief Prosecutor is also the manager of APU.
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who is employed by BOLI, but separate and independent of the APU, presides over all contested case proceedings.
Civil Rights Division
The Civil Rights Division (CRD) enforces laws granting individuals equal access to jobs, career schools, promotions, and a work environment free from discrimination and harassment. These laws ensure that workers' jobs are protected when they report worksite safety violations, use family leave or the worker's compensation system. Civil rights laws also provide protection for those seeking housing or using public facilities such as retail establishments, or transportation.
CRD fields nearly 32,000 inquires from potential complainants each year and investigates approximately 2,200 claims of discrimination each year.
Wage and Hour Division
The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) serves Oregon wage earners by enforcing laws covering state minimum wage and overtime requirements, working conditions, child labor, farm and forest labor contracting, and wage collection. The division also regulates the employment of workers on public works projects.
The Wage and Hour Division processes about 2,600 wage claims and conducts about 135 farm labor and 25 child labor investigations each year.
Apprenticeship and Training Division
The Apprenticeship and Training Division (ATD) regulates apprenticeship in a variety of occupations and trades and works with business, labor, government and education to increase training and employment opportunities. Apprenticeship is occupational training that combines on-the-job experience with classroom training. Industry and individual employers design and control the training programs, and pay apprentices' wages. The division registers occupational skill standards and agreements between apprentices and employers. It works with local apprenticeship committees across the state to ensure that apprenticeship programs provide quality training and equal employment opportunities, particularly for women and minorities in technical and craft occupations.
The ATD currently monitors compliance of 173 active apprenticeship programs and the participation of over 8,000 apprentices and 4,300 employers in Oregon.
Several boards and citizen advisory groups help the bureau develop policy and advise the commissioner. These include:
The Oregon State Apprenticeship and Training Council sets policy for apprenticeship & training and registers individual programs. The council has 10 members, appointed by the governor, representing industry, labor and the public.
Members of the Wage and Hour Commission are also appointed by the governor and represent labor, industry and the public. The Commission is charged with setting minimum standards for the working conditions of minors and may grant specific exceptions to child labor law.
The Prevailing Wage Advisory Committee advises and assists in the administration of the prevailing wage rate law. Advisory committee members are appointed by the Commissioner and include representatives from management and labor in the building and construction industry who perform work on public works contracts and other interested parties.
The Expression of Breast Milk in the Workplace advises the Commissioner on issues related to the application of the expression of breast milk in the workplace law.
The Oregon Council on Civil Rights serves to advise the commissioner, BOLI and the state generally on matters related to the education about and enforcement of civil rights in Oregon.