Minimum Wages

ORS 653.261
Minimum employment conditions

  • overtime
  • rules
  • meal periods
  • exemptions
  • penalty

(1)(a) The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries may adopt rules prescribing such minimum conditions of employment, excluding minimum wages, in any occupation as may be necessary for the preservation of the health of employees. The rules may include, but are not limited to, minimum meal periods and rest periods, and maximum hours of work, but not less than eight hours per day or 40 hours per workweek; however, after 40 hours of work in one workweek overtime may be paid, but in no case at a rate higher than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay of the employees when computed without benefit of commissions, overrides, spiffs and similar benefits.


As used in this subsection, “workweek” means a fixed period of time established by an employer that reflects a regularly recurring period of 168 hours or seven consecutive 24-hour periods. A workweek may begin on any day of the week and any hour of the day and need not coincide with a calendar week. The beginning of the workweek may be changed if the change is intended to be permanent and is not designed to evade overtime requirements.


Rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (1) of this section do not apply to individuals employed by this state or a political subdivision or quasi-municipal corporation thereof if other provisions of law or collective bargaining agreements prescribe rules pertaining to conditions of employment referred to in subsection (1) of this section, including meal periods, rest periods, maximum hours of work and overtime.


Rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (1) of this section regarding meal periods and rest periods do not apply to nurses who provide acute care in hospital settings if provisions of collective bargaining agreements entered into by the nurses prescribe rules concerning meal periods and rest periods.
(4)(a) The commissioner shall adopt rules regarding meal periods for employees who serve food or beverages, receive tips and report the tips to the employer.


In rules adopted by the commissioner under paragraph (a) of this subsection, the commissioner shall permit an employee to waive a meal period. However, an employer may not coerce an employee into waiving a meal period.


Notwithstanding ORS 653.256 (Civil penalty for general employment statute or rule violations) (1), in addition to any other penalty provided by law, the commissioner may assess a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 against an employer that the commissioner finds has coerced an employee into waiving a meal period in violation of this subsection. Each violation is a separate and distinct offense. In the case of a continuing violation, each day’s continuance is a separate and distinct violation.


Civil penalties authorized by this subsection shall be imposed in the manner provided in ORS 183.745 (Civil penalty procedures). All sums collected as penalties under this subsection shall be applied and paid over as provided in ORS 653.256 (Civil penalty for general employment statute or rule violations) (4). [1967 c.596 §5 (2), (3); 1971 c.492 §1; 1981 c.361 §2; 1985 c.99 §9; 2001 c.466 §1; 2007 c.167 §§1,2; 2011 c.58 §1; 2017 c.685 §§6,7]

Notes of Decisions

Where employe and employer agreed upon monthly salary for 60 hour week which met minimum wage requirements for straight and overtime, overtime pay could not be claimed for work in excess of 40 hour week under rule enacted pursuant to this section. State ex rel Stevenson v. Ghawi, 39 Or App 827, 593 P2d 1266 (1979)

Attorney General Opinions

Commission authority to prescribe rest periods for excluded employes, (1972) Vol 35, p 1112


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023