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Multi-Unit Dwellings: Questions & Answers

Oregon law gives an exemption from the payment of minimum wage and overtime for managers, assistant managers and maintenance employees at multi-unit accommodations that provide temporary or permanent lodging. The employee must live on the premises of the complex where employed if the exemption is to apply. ORS 653.020(9) Federal law does not provide the same exemption. If there is federal coverage employees must be paid the federal minimum wage and appropriate overtime. In general, there is federal coverage when the employer generates a gross annual volume of $500,000 or more. For more information about federal coverage call 503-326-3057.
Q. Is it necessary to pay minimum wage and overtime to apartment managers who live on the premises of a small apartment complex which grosses less than $500,000 per year?

A. No. As long as the manager lives on the premises the exemption applies. In addition, individuals hired to assist the manager and maintenance employees who also live on the premises are exempt as long as there is no federal coverage.
Q. If an owner has three complexes which gross $180,000, $175,000, and $150,000 respectively, does the exemption apply for each? 

A. No. In order to qualify for the exemption, the combined annual gross income from all properties must be less than $500,000. Since the gross in this example is $505,000, the exemption does not apply.
Q. If a relief manager stays on the premises while the resident manager is on vacation, does the exemption apply? 

A. No. Since the employee would not be domiciled at the complex, the exemption would not apply and minimum wage and overtime must be paid. When employees work shifts of 24 hours or more the employer and employee may agree to deduct up to eight hours of sleep time, bona fide meal periods and other periods when the employee is completely relieved of all duties. If there is no agreement providing for these deductions, all hours must be compensated. When sleep time is interrupted, that time must be paid. If the interruptions are so frequent that the employee is unable to get at least five continuous hours of sleep, then the employer must pay all of the sleep time.
Q. How are compensable hours determined for employees who live on the premises when there is federal coverage? 

A. When employees live on the premises, it is difficult to determine the exact number of hours worked and any reasonable agreement that takes into consideration all of the pertinent facts will be accepted. Employers should take care to document the agreement in writing and be certain that employees will be properly compensated for all hours worked. 

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.