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Requesting an opinion letter

An opinion letter is a written response from the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) regarding how the agency enforces a particular law in specific circumstances presented in writing by a requestor.

Review existing guidance

Before requesting an opinion letter, please consult the following guidance and compliance assistance materials:

Employers may contact Employer Assistance at 971-361-8400 or employer.assistance@boli.oregon.gov for technical assistance and information on the civil rights and wage and hour laws enforced by BOLI.

Complaints may be filed online from https://www.oregon.gov/boli/workers/Pages/complaint.aspx. For information on filing a complaint email boli_help@boli.oregon.gov  or call 971-245-3844.

What to include in your opinion letter request

A request for an opinion must include a representation that the opinion is not sought:

  • By a party in a BOLI investigation, its representative, or any third party acting on its behalf; or
  • By a party, its representative, or any third party acting on its behalf for use in any litigation that was initiated prior to the submission of the opinion letter request.

BOLI will deny opinion letter requests from any party which fails to provide these representations.

A request for an opinion letter should also include:

    • The specific statute and regulations with respect to which an opinion is sought;
    • A description of any facts that might be relevant to the opinion sought (e.g., the nature of the employer's business, an employee's job duties or work schedule, the amount and structure of any compensation, etc.);
    • The requestor's email address and telephone number should the agency need to discuss the request.

    A requestor may withdraw a request for opinion at any time prior to the issuance of the guidance by contacting Employer Assistance at 971-361-8400 or employer.assistance@boli.oregon.gov.

    Please do not include any personal or private information (e.g., social security numbers, etc.) in the content of your request for guidance. Additionally, please do not include information in your request that you consider to be a trade secret or confidential commercial information. Any information that you include in the content of your request may be incorporated into any response that we provide; such responses are made available to the public on our website.

    Where to submit an opinion letter request

    If after consulting existing agency guidance and compliance assistance materials you still wish to request an opinion letter, please submit your guidance request to:

    Due to agency staff workload, it may take 4-12 weeksto receive a final opinion letter.

    BOLI exercises discretion in determining whether to provide an opinion letter in any situation, and the agency may deny a request for any reason.

    When an opinion letter provides explanation, clarification, or application of the statutes and administrative rules enforced by BOLI, these interpretations do not add to, alter, or replace those provisions that alone are legally binding. Compliance guidance depends on the particular facts and circumstances described in the request for guidance. The existence of other facts or circumstances may lead to different conclusions.

    Note that guidance in an opinion letter may be affected by changes to the applicable statute or regulations. 

    Opinion letters issued by the agency are not intended as legal advice. This communication is not an agency order. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.