Oregon Case Law Update: Oregon Trial Court Rolls Back BOLI Guidance on Overtime Laws

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Oregon Case Update: Oregon Trial Court Rolls Back BOLI Guidance on Overtime Laws

From the desk of John Kreutzer: Oregon overtime laws require that a non-exempt employee be paid one and one-half times their regular rate of pay if they work more than 40 hours in one work week, and for certain employees, if they work more than 10 hours in one day. But if an employee is entitled to both daily overtime and weekly overtime, what is the employer obligated to pay? Read on to learn more.

Claims Pointer: In this case arising from a dispute over overtime wages, the trial court held that the statutory scheme obligates employers to calculate both daily and weekly overtime pay and to pay the greater of the two. While the case was decided at the trial level and will not control other cases, it will provide persuasive authority that may influence other courts to follow suit.

Reyes v. Portland Specialty Baking, LLC, No. 16CV25324, Multnomah Country Circuit Court (March 9, 2017)

Current and former employees of Portland Specialty Baking, LLC (“PSB”), a commercial bakery, brought a putative class action against PSB seeking damages and declaratory and injunctive relief for unpaid overtime. The employees argued that under Oregon law, they were entitled to both daily and weekly overtime for working more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period and more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek. PSB moved to dismiss the employees’ claims on the ground that the statutory scheme did not support such an argument.

The employees’ argument was based on an apparent conflict between two statutes. The first statue, ORS 653.261, provides that “…after 40 hours of work in one week overtime may be paid, but at no case at a rate higher than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay of the employees.” The second statute, ORS 652.020, which applies to manufacturing employees and employees in other specifically enumerated industries, provides that those employees are entitled to be paid...

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