Deadlines for the payment of wages in Oregon may be one of the most overlooked issues of employment law. Apart from the regular payment of wages, most of these laws and regulations apply to the termination of employment, and most of these situations tend to be emotionally unpleasant. Nevertheless, a working knowledge of these deadlines may help an employee avoid an unexpected financial hardship.
Payment of regular wages
All employers in Oregon must pay employees on a regular schedule. Scheduled payments must be fewer than 35 days apart. Employers may not withhold or deny a paycheck as a form of discipline or in exchange for the return of employer-owned property possessed by the employee.
As might be expected, the regulations governing final paychecks are a bit more complicated than regulations governing regular paychecks. If a person quits with less than 48 hours’ notice to the employer, all regular and past-due wages must be paid in full within 5 days, or the next regular payday, whichever comes first. If a person quits with at least 48 hours’ notice, the final check is due on the last day of employment or, if that day is a holiday, on the next regular business day.
If an employee is involuntarily discharged, the last payment is due by the end of the next business day. Likewise, if the employer and employee voluntarily agree to terminate the employment relationship, the last paycheck is due by the end of the following business day.
Employers who fail to pay final wages when they are due risk incurring a penalty of eight times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each day that regular wages go unpaid. Oregon law also contains a $1,000 civil penalty for the willful failure to pay wages at termination. The penalty also includes costs, interest and attorneys’ fees incurred by the employee.
Methods of payment
Wages must be paid in cash or any other method that can be accessed by the employee without the payment of a fee or discount. An employee may authorize the employer to deposit wages into the employee’s account in a bank, credit union or savings and loan within the state.
Solid legal advice
A knowledgeable employment attorney can provide critical assistance for anyone whose employer has violated any of these payment regulations.