Oregon minimum wage could take the title as the most complex in the nation.
It is governed by a unique system. Minimum wage in Oregon is generally applied by county — the more densely populated an area is, the higher the rate.
But the rates don’t perfectly align with county boundaries, making tracking and applying rates especially cumbersome for employers with locations in Oregon.
The state does not have a separate rate for tipped employees.
Minimum Wage Management. Simplified.
What is the 2023 minimum wage in Oregon?
Oregon minimum wage has three separate rates. And starting July 1, 2023, the rates in Oregon increase.
Beginning in 2023, and in succeeding years, the Oregon minimum wage will go up based on inflation.
Effective July 1, 2023, Oregon’s minimum wage rates are:
- Portland metro – $15.45
- Standard – $14.20
- Non-urban – $13.20
Again, though, the rates aren’t applied evenly across counties.
Fortunately, the state provides an urban growth boundary tool to help employers identify which rates apply to their locations.
Oregon minimum wage breaks down like this:
$15.45 per hour – Portland metro
Areas within the urban growth boundary, including parts of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.
$14.20 per hour – Standard
Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Yamhill, and parts of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington outside the urban growth boundary.
$13.20 per hour – Non-urban
Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler counties.
Why Zip Codes Don’t Cut It for Employment Law Compliance
How do you track Oregon’s Minimum Wage with Employees Working in Multiple Counties?
In the era of nontraditional work environments, applying minimum wage rates can be tricky. Oregon’s minimum wage law outlines how the law applies to employees who work in counties with different rates.
For employees who work at a fixed location:
- If an employee performs more than 50 percent of their work in a pay period at the employer’s permanent fixed location in Oregon, the applicable minimum wage rate is determined based on the region where the business is located
- If an employee makes deliveries as a part of their job and starts and ends work at the employer’s permanent fixed location, the minimum wage rate is the applicable rate for the region where the business is located
For work primarily performed in counties other than a company’s fixed business location, the Oregon minimum wage law applies differently.
When employees work less than 50 percent of their time at that location, “the region in which the employee performs work is considered to be the employer’s location for purposes of determining the applicable minimum wage rate to be paid.”
In the event an employee performs work in more than one region in a pay period, the employer must pay either:
- The applicable minimum wage rate for each hour worked in each region where the employee worked during the pay period
- The highest minimum wage rate required for any region in which the employee worked for all hours worked by the employee during the pay period
If an employee performs work in more than one region in a pay period, the employer must maintain records of the locations and they pay the highest rate for all hours worked by the employee during the work period.
If you need a solution that helps you monitor minimum wage in Oregon between multiple counties, check out: GovDocs Minimum Wage Rate Management.
Managing Oregon Minimum Wage Rates
With the federal minimum wage unchanged in more than a decade, more jurisdictions have passed these types of laws over the past several years.
But the latest development is a shift from scheduled rates, which employers can more easily plan for, to indexed minimum wage rates, as will be the case in Oregon in July 2023. And jurisdictions sometimes announce updated rates only weeks before their effective date, creating additional challenges for employers that operate across the U.S.
Meanwhile, there has also been a rise of industry-specific rates, especially in places like California (notably for hotel and healthcare employees), which adds another layer to the employment law compliance puzzle.
How Many States Have a $15 Minimum Wage?
Employers with locations in Oregon clearly have challenges when it comes to figuring out minimum wage rates in the state.
With indexed rates on the horizon, compliance teams should ensure they have the correct rates applied to their locations.