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Your Rights at Work

Oregon laws protect workers and ensure that you are paid for the work you do.

You get breaks and meal periods to rest during your shift, and sick time to care for yourself and your loved ones when you need it. If you have a child or someone in your family needs longer-term care, you can rest assured your job will be waiting for you when you return.

You’re protected from harassment and discrimination on the job (and in our state) — you can’t be treated differently because of your race, gender, disability, age, and other protected characteristics.

If your employer is breaking the law, we are here to help you take action. You can learn more about filing a complaint here, in the sections below, or contact us: 971-673-0761 or help@boli.state.or.us.

​​​

You must get paid at least Oregon’s hourly minimum wage.

The minimum wage you should get depends on which county you work in, but no matter what you should make at least $11.50 per hour (some areas are higher).​

The minimum wage goes up every year. The next increase is on July 1, 2020.

Learn more​.​

​For each 8-hour work shift you get these breaks free from work responsibilities:

  • Two 10+ minute paid rest breaks
  • One 30+ minute unpaid meal break

You also get reasonable breaks as needed to express milk (and a private space to pump that is not a bathroom) until your child reaches 18 months of age.\

Your employer can offer more breaks if they want to.

If your shift is longer or shorter than 8 hours, please refer to this chart.

Required breaks and meals per work shift length
Shift length
Rest breaks
Meal breaks
2 hrs or less
​0
0​
​2 hrs 1 min - 5 hrs 59 min1​0​
6 hrs
1​1​
​6 hrs 1 min - 10 hrs​​
2
1​
10 hrs 1 min - 13 hrs 59 min
3​1​
14 hrs
​3
2​
14 hrs 1 min - 18 hrs
4​2​
​18 hrs 1 min - 21 hrs 59 min​​
5
2​
​22 hrs
5​3​
22 hrs 1 min - 24 hrs
​6
3​​​

Learn more​.

​If you work more than 40 hours in one week, you must receive overtime pay of 1.5 times your regula​r pay rate. There are some exceptions but they are uncommon.

Learn more.

  • ​Employers are​ required to pay you on a regular payday schedule.
  • Paydays may not be more than 35 days apart.
  • Employers may not withhold or delay your paychecks as a form of discipline or in exchange for the return of employer-owned items held by the employee.
​There are strict requirements that apply to the payment of final wages when you are fired, laid off, or quit.

Deductions​ from paychecks are allowed if legally required (such as taxes) or if you voluntarily agree in writing and the deduction is for your benefit. Your paycheck must show the amount and purpose of each deduction.

Every worker must get equal pay for equal work regardless of your gender, race, age, or other protected characteristics.
  • Your employer must pay you the same amount as other people doing comparable work (including wages, bonuses, benefits, and more).
  • It’s illegal for your employer to pay you less than someone else because of your race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability or age.
  • Your employer can’t give someone a pay cut to make their pay equal with other employees.
Learn more​.​
Oregon law gives all workers sick time.
  • All Oregon workers get protected sick time. You get at least 1 hour of protected sick time for every 30 hours you work up to 40 hours per year. (Employers can choose to frontload at least 40 hours of sick time at the beginning of the year.)
  • You can use sick time for many reasons, including if you or a family member is sick, injured, experiencing mental illness, or need to visit the doctor.
  • You get paid sick time if your employer has 10 or more employees (6 or more if they have a location in Portland). Otherwise, sick time is protected but unpaid.
  • You can start taking sick time after you’ve worked for at least 90 days.
  • Your employer must regularly let you know how much sick time you have earned.
You are allowed by law to take time off to take care of yourself or family members. If you work for an employer with 25 or more workers, you could qualify for Oregon Family Leave.

This time is protected but often unpaid unless you have vacation, sick, or other paid leave available. Paid family leave is coming to Oregon in 2023.

You can take up to a total of 12 weeks of time off per year for any of these reasons​​​

  • Parental leave (either parent can take time off for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child). If you use this, you can also take 12 more weeks for sick child leave.
  • Serious health condition (your own, or to care for a spouse, parent, 
  • parent-in-law, or child)
  • Pregnancy disability leave (before or after birth of child or for prenatal care). If you use this, you can also take 12 more weeks for any other reason listed here.
  • Sick child leave (for your child with an illness or injury that requires home care but is not serious, or if their school or childcare provider is closed because of a public health emergency, declared by a public official)
  • Military family leave (if your spouse is a service member who has been called to active duty or is on leave from active duty)
  • Bereavement leave (up to 2 weeks of leave after the death of a family member)
  • Your employer must keep giving you the same health insurance benefits as when you are working. When you come back you must be returned to your former job or a similar position if your old job no longer exists.
  • To be eligible to take this time off, you must have worked at least 25 hours per week for six months beforehand and work for an employer with at least 
  • 25 employees.

Learn more​.​​​​

​​
Discrimination is illegal, and your employer can’t treat you differently because of your race, sex, age, disability, or other protected characteristics.

  • ​​You have the right to a workplace free from harassment and discrimination.
  • Your employer is required by law to have a clear policy to reduce and prevent harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault.
  • If you are sexually harassed, you are not alone.
Sexual harassment can look like unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or conduct of a sexual nature (verbal, physical, or visual), that is directed toward an individual because of gender.

It can also include conduct that is not sexual but is gender-related. Sexual harassment includes the harassment of the same or of the opposite sex.


If you experience domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking (or if you are a parent or guardian of a victim), your employer must make reasonable changes to support your safety.

This might include: a transfer, reassignment, modified schedule, unpaid leave, changed work phone number, changed work station, installed lock, new safety procedure, or other adjustment after threatened or actual events.

You can also take protected leave to find legal or law enforcement assistance, get medical treatment for injuries or mental health support, move or change your living situation, and more.

If you are experiencing domestic or other violence, there are resources available to you. If you are afraid your computer might be monitored, you can​ call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).​

You have a right to a safe and healthful place to work. If you are concerned about safety or health problems where you work, tell your employer. That is your right. You also have the right to:
  • Discuss safety or health problems with your co-workers
  • Participate in union activities about safety and health matters
  • Report job hazards to Oregon OSHA
  • Participate in safety and health inspections with an Oregon OSHA inspector
  • Testify in court about job hazards where you work​
Job applicants are protected from being discriminated against based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, and age by federal and state laws.

There are also restrictions on the kind of questions employers can ask or information they can require you to give.


Oregon laws allow the termination of an employment relationship by either the employer or the employee, without notice and without cause.

This is called "at will" employment. It means that generally, unless there is a contract or law that states otherwise, Oregon employers may discharge an employee at any time and for any reason, or for no reason at all.

However, employers may not fire or let employees go because of discriminatory reasons.








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