What Time is Paid in Oregon?

Posted by GNSA on Jan 18, 2024 2:52:15 PM

Oregon employees need to be compensated for all "hours worked". However, in order to maintain compliance and process payroll in Oregon, employers need to understand what is considered "hours worked". 

Here is everything you need to know about what time is paid in Oregon:

Hours Worked In Oregon

When it is time to process payroll in Oregon, employers need to understand what is considered "hours worked" in order to pay employees fairly and accurately. It is also crucial to understand "hours worked" so that any overtime is paid out appropriately. 

Definition of Hours Worked

"Hours worked" in Oregon is defined as "the time an employee is employed by and required to give to the employer". It includes the required time spent on the employer's premises, time spent on duty or at a prescribed workplace, and the time a worker is suffered or permitted to work. 

Under Oregon Break Laws, employee rest breaks are also considered "hours worked", and so are meal periods if certain circumstances are met. 

Generally, most employees must receive at least the 2024 Oregon minimum wage for all "hours worked". They must also receive at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for "hours worked" over 40 each workweek under Oregon Overtime Law

Employers must also track "hours worked" each day for all non-exempt employees. In addition, an itemized statement of earnings must be provided to each employee each time they are paid (can be done via a pay stub). Modern payroll software can help satisfy these requirements with little to no administrative effort.

Here are the other different categorizations for "hours worked" in Oregon: 

Compensation for Preparatory and Concluding Activities in Oregon

Oregon businesses must consider preparatory and concluding activities as "hours worked" if the activities are "an integral and indispensable part of a principal activity for which the employee is employed".

Examples of preparatory and concluding activities that are considered "hours worked" in Oregon include but are not limited to: 

  • A server setting up a workstation such as preparing coffee, filling condiment jars, etc.
  • A machinist who cleans and oils machinery in a plant prior to closing down a workstation
  • A bank teller counting the till before the business opens to the public

Compensation for Waiting Time in Oregon

Under Oregon Labor Law there are two different categorizations for waiting time, "engaged to wait" and "waiting to be engaged". 

When it comes to "hours worked", time spent "engaged to wait" by an employee is considered "hours worked". Time spent "waiting to be engaged" by an employee is not considered hours worked. 

Time spent "engaged to wait" is defined as "time spent waiting belongs to and is controlled by the employer and the employee is unable to use the time effectively for their own purposes".

Examples of time spent "engaged to wait" include but are not limited to: 

  • A factory worker who talks to fellow employees while waiting for machinery to be repaired
  • A repair person who waits for the client to get the premises in readiness

Time spent "waiting to be engaged" is defined as "time spent completely relieved from duty for periods which are long enough for the employee to use the time effectively for their own purposes".

In order to be completely relieved from duty, an employee must be told in advance that they may leave the job until a specified time.

Compensation for On-Call Time in Oregon

Whether or not On-Call Time is considered "hours worked" depends on the situation. 

Employers who require employees to remain on the employer's premises or so close thereto that the employee cannot use the time effectively for the employee’s own purposes, then the on-call time must be paid. 

If an employer only requires that an employee carry a cell phone or leave a number where they can be reached, they should be able to use the time effectively for their own purposes. Thus, this on-call time would not be paid. Important to note is that if the conditions of on-call time are so restrictive that an employee can not use the time effectively for their own purposes, then the time is considered "engaged to wait" and must be compensated. 

Note: Employers who are covered under Oregon Predictive Scheduling Law must typically pay one-half the regular wage rate for scheduled on-call hours, even when the employer does not ask the employee to perform work.

Compensation for Sleep Time in Oregon

Under specific circumstances, "hours worked" may extend to time spent sleeping by an employee.

Generally, the first thing to consider is the length of the shift. If the shift is less than 24 hours, sleep must be counted as "hours worked".

For shifts that last longer than 24 hours sleep time (up to 8 hours) may be excluded from "hours worked" so long the employee agrees, and the following apply:

  • The employer provides adequate sleeping facilities
  • Sleep is usually uninterrupted

Note: If an employee's sleep is interrupted and the employee does not get at least five consecutive hours of sleep, then the entire sleep period must be considered "hours worked". Additionally, only eight hours can be excluded from hours worked, even if sleeping is allowed beyond eight hours.

Compensation for Meeting or Training Time in Oregon

Employers must compensate employees for all time spent in meetings or training. When employee attendance is required, the time must also be counted as "hours worked", regardless of whether or not the employee is performing his or her usual duties.

Time spent in meetings or in training may only be excluded from "hours worked" if all of the following apply:

  • Attendance is outside of the employee's regular working hours
  • Attendance is voluntary
  • The training, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee's job
  • The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance

Note: Any time spent by employees attending an independent school, college, or independent trade school after-hours and on their own initiative is not to be considered "hours worked". Additionally, any time spent by employees in training outside regular working hours at specialized or follow-up training which is required for certification of employees by any law or ordinance is not to be considered "hours worked".

Compensation for Volunteer Activities in Oregon

Volunteer time is not considered "hours worked", however, there are rules in Oregon regarding when volunteering is allowed. 

For starters, volunteering for, for-profit private-sector employers is not allowed under Oregon Labor Laws. In order to volunteer, an employee must work for a public sector employer or a religious, charitable, or similar non-profit organization. Additionally, volunteer work cannot be the same work for which and employee is employed to do during regular work hours. 

Lastly, the following criteria must apply in order for an employee to be classified as a volunteer:

  • The work must be at the employee´s initiative
  • The work must be outside normal or regular work hours
  • The employee must be performing a religious, charitable or other community service without contemplation of payment
  • The employee must be performing a task outside of the regular job functions performed for the same employer

Compensation for Travel Time and Mileage 

Oregon labor law has an extensive set of rules for travel and mileage time compensation, including rules for: 

  • Portal-to-portal travel
  • Travel between worksites 
  • Special one-day assignments
  • Overnight travel
  • Mileage

It is important to understand the ins and outs of Oregon Travel Time Pay.

Get Help with Oregon Payroll and Compensation

Oregon's laws regarding "hours worked" are among the more complex state laws regarding the subject. As such, it is important for employers to understand what is classified as "hours worked" and to ensure they have a way to process payroll accurately and fairly. 

When it comes to ensuring accurate payroll, modern payroll software is the key to strong compliance practices while minimizing the administrative burden. 

To learn more about an Oregon Payroll Service, or to get help with processing payroll in Oregon, businesses should reach out to an Oregon Payroll Company for help. 

To learn how GNSA is helping countless Oregon businesses process payroll accurately, compliantly, and on time, contact us today.

Payroll Product Profile Horizontal CTA

Topics: Oregon Payroll, Oregon Labor Laws, Payroll Compliance, Oregon Compliance


Written by GNSA

GNSA is a Payroll, Human Resource, and Benefits Administration firm specializing in serving the small to middle market. Started in 1997, GNSA has steadily grown from year-to year as more and more companies have identified GNSA as the premier outsourced service provider. At GNSA we believe that the strength of the United States economy resides in the small to mid-market, therefore GNSA has focused its efforts towards better serving this segment.

Let Us Help You With All Your
HCM Needs

Where Customer Service and HCM Cloud Technology Meet

Contact Us