A strong and growing Oregon economy that reflects the values of fairness, equality, and opportunity.
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 principal 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.
Affirmative Action Plan, 2013-2015 Biennium
|Annual Performance Measures |
Office of the Labor Commissioner
Commissioner Brad Avakian has spent more than 20 years fighting to expand economic opportunity and ensure equality for all Oregonians. Early in his career, as an employment and civil rights attorney, Brad gave voice to workers who were seeking fair wages, better working conditions, and freedom from discrimination in the workplace. Later, as a state legislator, he passed laws to expand collective bargaining rights, crack down on predatory lending, and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Since 2008, Brad has served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), where he has stepped up enforcement of Oregon’s civil rights laws and partnered with Oregon’s business and labor communities to strengthen workforce development efforts. Read Brad's full bio here.
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.
The Administrative Prosecution Unit (APU) initiates and prosecutes contested case proceedings on behalf of the Civil Rights Division or Wage and Hour Division. An administrative law judge (ALJ) who is employed by BOLI but separate and independent of the APU presides over all contested case proceedings. The APU resolves approximately 200 cases each year through the contested case process. BOLI's contested case process is described in more detail at BOLI Contested Cases.
The Commissioner's Office provides policy direction for, and overall management of, all of the bureau's programs. Internal support services provide budget and fiscal control, employee services, and information systems management.
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 30,000 inquires from potential complainants each year and investigates approximately 2,000 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.
BOLI has offices in Portland, Salem, and Eugene. For Bureau contact information and field office locations, click here.
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.