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BOLI investigations

Bureau of Labor and Industries administers and enforces Oregon laws about wages, working conditions, civil rights, and anti-discrimination.

BOLI’s jurisdiction includes:
  • Payment of wages
  • Minimum wage and overtime
  • Rest and meal periods
  • Statewide sick leave
  • Labor contractors providing workers in the farm, forestation, construction and janitorial sectors
  • Child labor protections
  • Prevailing wage rates on public works projects
  • Discrimination
  • Fair Housing laws
  • Equal pay
  • Retaliation / whistleblower protection

The law

ORS 651.120 outlines the Bureau’s authority to enter business premises, gather facts, and examine working conditions at any reasonable time.

Other statutes and rules under BOLI's authority can be found here.

Wage and hour investigations and enforcement

Investigators and staff conduct onsite inspections to find facts and determine whether employees are being employed and paid appropriately. While these inspections may be scheduled in advance, the agency may also initiate unannounced site visits in order to directly observe normal business operations and develop factual information quickly.

A routine onsite visit will begin with an explanation of the investigative process and the types of records that will be required during the review. It may also include interviews of both management and workers in private. Representatives of the agency will also verify posting of the applicable minimum wage; an Oregon sick leave notice; and (where applicable) a certificate to employ minors.
Employers will also be asked to provide:
  • Names and contact information of employees;
  • A copy of time records for the last two completed pay periods typically; and
  • A copy of the payroll records for this same timeframe.
Once this information has been gathered and reviewed, the agency may contact the employer to request additional information or advise it that no violations were found. If violations are found during a compliance review, the employer will be informed as to the requirements of the law and necessary corrective actions.

Corrective action for any violation may include revision of the company’s policies and practices, prompt computation and payment of back wages due to employees, and payment of applicable civil penalties. Where appropriate, BOLI may also seek a signed agreement from the employer regarding future compliance. (Under authority from ORS 653.045 and OAR 839-020-0080)

Civil rights investigations and enforcement

Check back for more information as this description is being revised.

Proactive investigations

BOLI's Proactive Investigations and Enforcement Unit also routinely conducts onsite compliance reviews relating to wage and hour laws. These visits may happen either in response to complaints or as a result of proactive enforcement efforts in a particular industry or geographic region. 

Retaliation is prohibited

Under Oregon law, discrimination or discharge of an employee for participating in BOLI’s review of wages and working conditions is prohibited and constitutes an unlawful employment practice. A person who is unlawfully discriminated against may file a complaint with our agency.

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