Any wage earner who has not been paid wages for hours worked or overtime wages for hours worked over 40 in a workweek may file a claim with the Wage and Hour Division of BOLI.
Additionally, the Division will accept claims for final wages owed by employers that go out of business for potential payment from the Wage Security Fund.
The wage claim form is available online from the Wage and Hour Division’s webpage. The wage claim form requires the claimant to provide the Division with information such as dates work was performed, rate of pay, reason wages have not been paid in full, and a close estimate of the balance of money due.
Note, information on a wage claim form may be released to people who request it as required by the public disclosure law.
Wage Claims that Are Not Accepted
BOLI will not accept a wage claim if any of the following is true:
- The claimant was self-employed;
- The claimant was a member of a union or collective bargaining unit. (If you were a union member, speak with a Bureau representative before filing a claim);
- The claimant has already begun private legal action to recover the wages claimed;
- The claimant has not yet asked his or her employer for the wages claimed;
- The claimant has performed no work in Oregon;
- The claim is against a business in which the claimant was a partner or an owner, or in which he or she had a direct financial interest;
- The claim is against a close relative of the claimant;
- The claim is against a person the claimant is unwilling to take to court.
Wage claims received by the Division are reviewed for completeness and jurisdiction. Claimants may be asked to provide additional information and/or evidence to support the claim. Once the claim is accepted, a letter (notice of claim) is sent to the employer. If the employer disputes the claim or fails to pay wages due, the claim may be assigned to a Compliance Specialist for investigation.
Alternatives to the Wage and Hour Division
Employees owed unpaid wages may elect to pursue their claims by way of the small claims court in the county in which the employer is located (if the amount is $10,000 or less) or by filing suit in circuit court.
Wage and Hour Complaints
The Wage and Hour Division distinguishes between “wage claims” and “complaints.” In addition to wage claims, the division continues to accept wage and hour-related complaints (on items other than claims for unpaid wages). A complaint could have to do with items like working conditions violations or recordkeeping and payroll practices that violated applicable wage and hour requirements. The Division’s complaint form is also available online and completed forms may be submitted to any Wage and Hour Division office.
Note, information on a complaint form may be released to people who request it as required by the public disclosure law.
Updated December 31, 2012
Nothing on this website is intended as legal advice. Any responses to specific questions are based on the facts as we understand them, and not intended to apply to any other situations. This communication is not an agency order. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney. We attempt to update the information on this website as soon as practicable following changes or developments in the laws and rules affecting Oregon employers, but we make no warranties or representations, express or implied, about whether the information provided is current. We urge you to check the applicable statutes and administrative rules yourself and to consult with legal counsel prior to taking action that may invoke employee rights or employer responsibilities or omitting to act when required by law to act.
800 NE Oregon Street
Portland, OR 97232
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