Navigating Oregon’s Leave Updates: SB 1515 Explained

It is no secret that the implementation of Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) over the last year has created many questions for employers and employees alike. To clear up some of these questions, the Oregon State Legislature passed SB 1515. Here’s what you need to know about the changes SB 1515 brings to PLO and other leave policies.

First, SB 1515 caps the amount of leave an employee can take under PLO in a benefit year to 14 weeks. These 14 weeks can include 12 weeks of leave for family leave, medical leave, or safe leave and an additional two weeks of leave for pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. This cap is lowered from the 18-week cap previously issued under PLO.

Second, SB 1515 provides clarity on how PLO may be used in conjunction with other leave policies starting July 1, 2024. Employers may create an internal policy, or establish a policy via collective bargaining, that specifies the order in which employees may take different types of available leave. Under any policy, Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) leave must be provided in addition to PLO, meaning that the two cannot be taken concurrently. However, SB 1515 does not allow recipients of worker’s compensation time loss benefits or unemployment benefits to also receive PLO benefits at the same time.

Third, SB 1515 expands the amount of wage replacement an employee can receive while on paid leave. At a minimum, employers must allow employees to receive benefits under PLO and any accrued but unused paid time off at the same time so employees can receive up to full wage replacement while taking leave under PLO. Alternatively, employers may choose to allow employees to receive PLO and employer provided benefits that exceed 100% of the employees’ regular wage.

Fourth, SB 1515 revises the protected reasons for taking leave under the OFLA. OFLA will no longer cover leave for a worker’s own serious health condition, leave to care for a family member, excluding a sick child, with a serious health condition, or leave to bond with a new child. Instead, each of these protected reasons for leave will be covered exclusively by PLO starting on July 1, 2024. If you have an employee who is already approved to take leave for one of these reasons under OFLA, or who has requested leave for one of these reasons, Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) requires employers to provide that employee with notice that their leave will not be protected by OFLA as of July 1, 2024. In addition, the employer must inform the employee that their leave may be covered by PLO and provide applicable contact information to the employee. OFLA will continue to cover leave related to a child’s illness, bereavement leave, and leave for any pregnancy-related disability.

Fifth, SB 1515 adjusts time off allowed under OFLA. An additional two weeks of leave will be temporarily provided to employees engaging in the fostering or adoption process. These additional two weeks are only available to employees until December 31, 2024. Starting January 1, 2025, leave associated with the foster and adoption process will be considered as a protected reason for leave under PLO. SB 1515 also caps the amount of time employees can take off for bereavement leave under OFLA. Bereavement leave will be capped at two weeks per family member and four weeks total per year. Thus, if an employee has more than one family member pass in a 12-month period, they will be allowed to take two weeks of protected, unpaid leave per family member with up to four weeks in that 12-month period.

Looking forward, employers will want to review their current leave policies and HR practices to ensure they are compliant with the changes of SB 1515. Employers and employees can also anticipate updated regulations from BOLI that may provide further clarification to the changes outlined above. Should you have any questions about the changes of SB 1515 contact your employment attorney.

FTC Votes to Ban Noncompete Agreements

Non-Compete Agreement

On April 23, 2024, the United States Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 to issue a Rule banning all new noncompete clauses after the effective date of the Rule.  The Rule – if it goes into effect – would prohibit companies from entering into new noncompete agreements with all employees.  There is a carve out in the Rule for some existing noncompete agreements with “senior executives” (defined as employees in a “policy-making position” who earn more than $151,164 per year).  The Rule also has an exemption for business owners who sell their company.

Under the Rule, companies with existing noncompete agreements are required to provide a notice to employees who have noncompete agreements that the agreements are no longer enforceable and will not be enforced by the company.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a statement shortly after the FTC vote, criticizing the Rule as “not only unlawful but also a blatant power grab that will undermine American businesses’ ability to remain competitive.”  The Chamber of Commerce statement indicates that it will be filing a lawsuit to block the Rule.

If not blocked by litigation, the Rule will go into effect 120 days after it is published in the Federal Register, likely meaning early September 2024.

Currently, noncompete agreements are mainly subject to applicable state law in most jurisdictions.  Some states (like Oregon) have specific statutes with restrictions on which employees can be subject to noncompete agreements.  Companies should consult with their employment attorney to determine how best to proceed in light of the new FTC Rule.

Your Employees’ Workday May Begin Sooner Than You Think

When a workday begins can depend on the type of work performed and necessary steps to start the work each day. But with the ever-growing presence of computer software use in the workforce, can starting up and shutting down a work computer add some extra time to a paycheck? The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says that it is possible.

While many may be quick to compare starting up computers to waiting in line to punch a timecard, the Ninth Circuit ruled that for the call service employees at Connexx, the two are entirely different. In Cadena v. Customer Connexx LLC., decided October 24, 2022, call service employees claimed they should be compensated under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for the additional 18.9 minutes it takes for their computers to turn on and off each day. Relying on the FLSA and the Portal-to-Portal Act, the Ninth Circuit found that booting up work computers could be compensable time, but shutting the computers down should not.

In specific situations, turning on computers each day can now be likened to the donning and doffing of protective gear. Without the use of functioning computers, the Ninth Circuit concluded that Connexx employees could not access any of the programs necessary to answer customer calls and perform scheduling tasks, the employees’ principal duties. Thus, the time spent starting up their work computers is integral and indispensable to the employees’ principal duties and should be compensated.

This case is a good reminder to all employers that under the FLSA, you are required to pay employees starting at the time of the first principal activity of the day. However, time that passes while the employee is waiting to begin their first activity of the day is not always compensable. For activities to be principal, and thus compensable, they must be integral and indispensable to the employee’s work. In today’s world, it isn’t as easy to determine when compensable time begins as it once used to be. With the days of punching in a timecard and walking straight to a workstation mostly behind us, employers should be aware of what tasks are integral and indispensable to their employees’ job performance and ensure they are compensating them appropriately.

Workplace Vaccination Requirements

Workplace Vaccination Requirements

What You Need to Know About Workplace Vaccination Requirements

Workplace Vaccination RequirementsNow that the first round of COVID-19 vaccines is being distributed, many of people are wondering how to ensure that their employees are vaccinated as soon as possible. Below are answers to some of the most common questions employers have about workplace vaccine requirements. If you would like specific advice about instituting a vaccine requirement for your employees, please contact an employment lawyer.

Can I require that my employees take the vaccine when it becomes available?

Yes. In general, you can have a requirement that your employees take a publicly available vaccine. However, employers with 15 or more employees are subject to federal laws prohibiting certain employment practices, including requirements that screen out individuals with disabilities and denying requests for reasonable accommodations based on religious beliefs. Many states have equivalent laws that cover smaller employers. Most employers must try to make reasonable accommodations for employees whose disability or religious beliefs prevent them from meeting workplace requirements.

How can I respond if an employee claims to be unable to take the vaccine because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief?

You must determine whether you are required to make a reasonable accommodation for the employee. Unless an employer can demonstrate that a reasonable accommodation is not possible without undue hardship and that an unvaccinated employee poses a direct threat to the health of others, the employer must make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s disability. An employer also must make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious belief if the accommodation is possible without undue hardship.

In either case, an employer may exclude from the workplace an unvaccinated employee for whom the employer is not required to make reasonable accommodation. 

What does reasonable accommodation mean for workplace vaccination requirements?

Whether you can make a reasonable accommodation without undue hardship will depend on the nature of the workforce and the employee’s position. In determining whether an exemption causes undue hardship, you should consider whether the employee’s duties require frequent contact with the public or other individuals whose vaccination rates are unknown and the cost to the business of reducing such contact. Employers may also rely on CDC and OSHA guidance to determine whether an accommodation is possible without undue hardship.

Federal regulations direct employers to determine whether a direct threat exists based on the likelihood and extent of the risk. Like undue hardship, whether your employee constitutes a “direct threat” will depend on the employee’s duties and the progress of the pandemic. As infection rates fall, the likelihood that an unvaccinated employee will constitute a direct threat to others in the workplace may fall.

Employment protections based on religious belief are narrower than protections based on disability. An employer still must provide a reasonable accommodation upon request. However, undue hardship in the religious belief context means that the accommodation would have a more than trivial burden on the employer, such as forcing the employer to treat employees unequally. Employers may not be required to make an accommodation for religious belief if the accommodation is unfair to other employees or forces you to incur significant costs.

As the COVID-19 vaccines become more available, employers will certainly face more pressing questions about requiring employees get the vaccine. 

Naturally, many of these questions are novel, and there are complex legal issues employers need to consider.  There are also practical considerations – what will the impact be on morale of requiring (or not requiring) employees to provide proof of vaccination.  Employers with specific questions should seek guidance from an attorney with experience in employment matters.

Family First Law & What It Means

I. Federal Legislative Actions

On Friday, March 13, 2020, the House announced that they reached a deal with President Trump’s administration in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

At 1:00am early Saturday morning, the House passed HR 6201 with a 363 – 40 vote. The emergency bill is cited as “Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”

On March 18, 2020, the Senate passed the bill with a 90 – 8 vote. On March 18, 2020, the President signed the bill into law.

The law provides temporary paid sick and family medical leave, increases funding for health, food security and unemployment insurance programs, and provides free coronavirus testing.

Below is an outline of the highlights of the law.

II. Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act

Division C | p. 12


Begins on the date the Act takes effect, and ends December 31, 2020.

Eligible Employees

Eligible employees are employees who have been employed at least 30 calendar days by the employer with respect to whom leave is requested.

Employer Threshold

The Act creates a threshold for qualifying employers. Accordingly, Employers who employ 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year are subject to the Emergency Medical Leave Expansion Act.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees

The Secretary of Labor has the authority to issue regulations for good cause to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave requirement.

Qualifying Need Related to a Public Health Emergency

The Act protects employees with a “qualifying need related to a public health emergency.” The term “qualifying need related to a public health emergency,” with respect to leave, means that the employee is unable to work due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years old of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.

Unpaid Leave – Initial 10 Days

The first 10 days that an employee takes leave may be unpaid. The employee may elect to substitute any accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for unpaid leave under this section; however, the employer may not require the election to substitute.

Paid Leave – After Initial 10 Days

The employer shall provide paid leave for each day of leave that the employee takes after taking the initial 10 days’ leave. The pay shall be calculated based on:

  1. An amount that is not less than 2/3 of an employee’s regular rate of pay; and
  2. The number of hours that the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work.

In no event shall paid leave exceed $200 per day, or $10,000 in the aggregate.

Employees with Varying Schedules

For those employees whose schedules vary week-to-week, the employer should calculate hours by determining the average number of hours that employee is scheduled for per day over the 6-month period ending on the date that the employee’s leave begins. If the employee has not worked for 6-months prior, the employer should consider the reasonable expectation of hours that the employee would normally be scheduled.


Where practicable, the employee shall give notice to the employer where the necessity for leave is foreseeable.

III. Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020

Division D | p. 15


The State shall notify an employee at the time of their separation from employment of the availability of unemployment compensation.

Notice of Received/Processed Application

The State must then notify the applicant when the application is received and is being processed.

Non-Charge for COVID-19

The State may not charge employers directly impacted by COVID-19 due to an illness in the workplace, or direction from a public health official to isolate or quarantine workers. (p. 41).

IV. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Division E | p. 18

Covered Employers

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act applies to private employers that employ fewer than 500 employees, and public agencies that employ one or more employees.

Employers Must Provide

An employer shall provide to each employee employed by the employer paid sick time for any of the following uses:

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care professional to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order described in (i), or has been advised as described in (ii).
  5. The employee is caring for the son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care for the son or daughter has been closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions.
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Amount of Paid Time

For full time employees, the employee is entitled to 80 hours of paid sick time.

For part time employees, the employee is entitled to the number of hours equal to the number of hours that employee works on average, over a 2-week period.

No Carryover

Paid sick time under this Act shall not carry over from one year to the next.


Paid sick leave under this Act terminates beginning with the employee’s next scheduled work shift immediately following termination of the need for paid sick time, as described in (b) above.

Immediate Use

Paid sick time under this Act shall be available for immediate use by the employee for purposes described in section (b) above, to cover the hours during which the employee is using paid sick time.

Employer with Existing Paid Sick Time Policy

The employee may first use the paid sick time under the Act. The employer may not require the employee to use the paid leave provided by the employer before using paid sick leave under the Act.

Cover Employee

The employer may not require the employee seek a replacement employee to cover in their absence.


The employer shall post, and keep posted, in a conspicuous place on the premises, the requirements described in the Act.

Model Notice

Seven days after the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall make publicly available a model of a notice that meets the requirements of the Act.

Discrimination, Discipline, Discharge

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against, discharge, or discipline an employee who takes leave in accordance with the Act and has filed any complaint or proceeding under this Act.


An employer who fails to provide paid sick leave will be considered to have failed to pay minimum wages in violation of section 6 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 USC 206), and shall be subject to the penalties described in sections 16 and 17 therefrom.

Effective Date

This Act and the requirements of this Act shall take effect not later than 15 days after the date of enactment for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The Act shall expire on December 31, 2020.

Payroll Tax Credits for Paid Sick and Paid Family and Medical Leave

Division G | p. 33

The Act makes several changes to Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), which is at IRC 3111.  The FICA taxes are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  We anticipate larger changes to the income and excise tax rules as part of the $1 trillion economic stimulus package currently working its way through Congress.

Paid Sick Leave.

    1. 100% Tax Credit. The employer shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed under Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for each calendar quarter an amount equal to 100% of the qualified sick leave wages paid by the employer with respect to such calendar quarter.
    2. $200 Daily Limit per Employee. The amount of qualified sick leave wages taken into account with respect to any individual shall not exceed $200 for any day for which the individual is paid qualified sick leave wages.
    3. Overall Limit on Number of Days Taken into Account. The aggregate number of days taken into account under this section for any calendar quarter shall not exceed the excess of:
      1. 10, over
      2. The aggregate number of days so taken into account for all preceding calendar quarters.
    4. Election of Applicability. This section shall not apply with respect to any employer for any calendar quarter if such employer elects not to have this section apply.

Self-Employed Individuals.

      1. Eligibility. Must be someone who regularly carries on a trade or business under Section 1402 of the IRC, and would be entitled to paid leave during the taxable year under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (see section (2) of Division E highlights above).
      2. Coverage. There shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for any taxable year an amount equal to 100% of the qualified sick leave equivalent amount with respect to the individual.
  • (There are more details in the self-employment provisions that I can dig into should our clients prefer. I am not sure is this section is particularly relevant to our clients.)

Paid Family Leave.

    1. 100% Tax Credit. The employer shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed under Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for each calendar quarter an amount equal to 100% of the qualified family leave wages paid by the employer with respect to such calendar quarter.
    2. Wages Limit. The amount of qualified family leave wages taken into account with respect to any individual shall not exceed:
      1. $200 for any day for which the individual is paid qualified family leave wages; and
      2. In the aggregate with respect to all calendar quarters, $10,000.

Credit Limit. The credit allowed under this subsection with respect to any calendar quarter, shall not exceed the tax imposed under Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for each calendar quarter on the wages paid with respect to the employment of all employees of the employer.

Election of Applicability. This section shall not apply with respect to any employer for any calendar quarter if such employer elects not to have this section apply.

Tax on Employers.

  • Not Wages. Any wages required to be paid by reason of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act shall not be considered wages for the purposes of Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

A more sweeping tax bill is still pending at this time related to income tax and insurance tax implications. For more specifics on the current law, as well as pending legislation, we encourage you to consult one of the experienced tax lawyers at Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP.

Big Changes to Some Big Employers’ Employee Scheduling Practices

“Affected employers will have to provide their employees with seven days advance notice of their shift schedules”

On June 29, 2017, the House approved and sent to the governor, Senate Bill 828 which will require large employers in certain industries to provide advanced notice to employees of their work schedules. This new law will affect only retail, hospitality, and food service establishments with 500 or more employees worldwide. Affected employers will have to provide their employees with seven days advance notice of their shift schedules. Affected employers will also need to make a good faith effort to provide new employees with an estimation of the average number of hours the employee can expect to work in a month. It is expected that the governor will sign the bill into law.

The new law will also provide employees of the affected industries with a right to rest between work shifts. The right to rest, which an employee may waive, requires the employer to not schedule an employee to work during the first 10 hours following the end of a work shift. If the employer does schedule an employee during a rest period, then the employer must compensate the employee at time and a half for each hour worked during the rest period.

If an employer requests changes to an employee’s work schedule without seven days’ advance notice, then the employee may decline the work shifts. However, if an employee requests additional work shifts in writing, then the employer does not need to provide advanced notice. If an employee accepts the shift, then the employer will have to provide additional compensation in most circumstances. Additional compensation requirements will not apply in some circumstances such as when an employee initiates and arranges a work shift swap or coverage agreement with another employee.

Employees of the affected employers will also have a right to provide input as to limitations or changes to their work schedule. However, an employer will have no obligation to grant an employee’s work schedule requests.

Affected employers will be required to post in the work place a notice of employee rights under the new law. Employers will also be required to keep records for three years documenting their compliance with the new law.

Employers will be permitted to maintain a voluntary standby list of employees willing to cover shifts because of unanticipated customer needs or unexpected employee absences. Employees will have the option to be removed from the list at any time. An employer may not retaliate against an employee that does not want to be on the list or declines to work additional hours. The punishment for coercing an employee into being added to the standby list is a civil penalty up to $2,000.

The seven days’ notice requirement, good faith estimation of a new employees work schedule, voluntary standby list, right to rest between work shifts, employee right to input into work schedule, compensation for work schedule changes, notice of employee rights and recordkeeping requirements will become effective in July, 2018.The enforcement provisions and retaliation prohibitions will take effect in July, 2019. Beginning in July, 2020, affected employers will be required to provide two weeks’ notice to employees concerning their work schedules.

No Questions Asked: Oregon’s Equal Pay Act

Oregon’s Equal Pay Act Prohibits Questions About Salary

On May 22, 2017, the House unanimously re-passed House Bill 2005. The legislation, which is more commonly known as the Equal Pay Act of 2017, was amended by the Senate last week, and is now headed to Governor Brown for her signature.

While the majority of the media attention has been on the provisions in the bill that will prohibit discrimination against women in the payment of wages, there are other provisions affecting employment practices that employers should be aware of.

Under the new legislation, it will be a prohibited practice for an employer to screen a job applicant based on the applicant’s current or past compensation. Other than for internal hires, it will also be a prohibited practice to determine compensation for a position based on current or past compensation of a prospective employee. Additionally, a prospective employer may not seek an applicant’s salary history information from the applicant or from the applicant’s current or former employer, unless the prospective employer has made an offer of employment, with an amount of compensation included, to the prospective employee.

If an employer were to screen a job applicant, determine compensation, or seek out salary information in violation of the Act, they could face a lawsuit to recover up to two years of back pay, court costs, attorney fees, and other damages.

If Governor Brown signs the bill into law, as she is expected to do, the screening and compensation provisions will become effective January 1, 2019. The prohibition on seeking information on an applicant’s salary history will become effective 91 days after the Legislature adjourns.

“Not So Fast” – Federal Judge Grants Injunction Against Overtime Regulation

Rule Expanding Overtime Halted by Federal Judge

On Tuesday, November 22, a Federal District Court Judge in Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against an Obama administration regulation, which sought to expand the eligibility of millions of workers for overtime pay.

The regulation was ruled by Judge Mazzat to have likely exceeded the authority of the Obama administration because it nearly doubled the overtime salary threshold. The regulation would raise the minimum annual salary amount from $23,660 to $47,476. It would automatically qualify workers for overtime pay, so long as their annual salary was below the new $47,476 threshold.

Twenty-one states and over fifty business organizations have backed the request for an injunction to delay the regulation’s effective date of December 1, 2016, until the judge could make a final ruling based on the merits.

Small business owners and business organizations applauded the decision, arguing that the regulation would substantially burden business owners with increased labor costs. The Labor Department and worker advocacy groups argue that by blocking the regulation, workers who already put in 40 hours a week will continue to work longer hours for unfair pay.

Many employers have been making plans for the effective date of the new regulations, which is now just eight days away. Employers may have already notified employees about their new pay arrangements. Should employers reverse those salary decisions and postpone their implementation? There are many unknowns at play, not the least of which is that the Trump administration will take over responsibility for this litigation in January 2017. Might a Trump administration concede this case, and let an injunction remain in place?  That is a possibility. Might the new administration have the Department of Labor issue new regulations extending the date for implementation of the new salary/overtime rules? That’s also possible. One other possibility is an appeal and a higher court vacating the injunction. In that case, could the December 1, 2016 effective date be made enforceable retroactively?

Each employer must make a business decision about what is appropriate for their workforce, and determine how much risk (given the uncertainty) they are willing to accept. One important point for employers – adjustments to compensation terms can be made prospectively, but it is dangerous for an employer to retroactively modify an employee’s compensation, particularly if the modification is to reduce pay. An employer and employee have a contractual relationship, with many applicable state and federal regulations. Employers should be cautious about any course of action that could be seen as a breach of the employment contract, or a violation of state or federal laws.

For more information, read this article from Bloomberg.

No Sharing: Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA)


Employers should be sure that they are in compliance with the DTSA

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the popular Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which gives employers a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. One of the key features is that the DTSA allows employers to obtain equitable remedies, actual damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees as well as remedies available under state law.

There are a few circumstances where an employee or contractor is immune from prosecution for sharing trade secrets: (1) when disclosing to the government or government attorneys solely for the purpose of reporting or investigated a suspected violation of law; (2) when disclosing to a personal attorney in connection with a retaliation lawsuit for reporting a suspected violation of law; and (3) when disclosing in any complaint or other document filed in a lawsuit, as long as its filed under seal.

The DTSA requires employers to provide notice of these immunities in any agreement with an employee or contractor related to trade secrets or other confidential information. If the employer does not provide this notice, their available damages will be reduced. They will not be entitled to punitive damages or attorney fees, which limits the effectiveness of the agreement.

The good news? This only applies to agreements entered into on or after May 11, 2016. Agreements entered into before then do not have to include the notice provisions. But looking forward, employers should contact their legal counsel to make sure that any agreements they enter into will comply with the DTSA.

Piece-Rate Workers Entitled to Rest Period Pay

A major change has taken place for piece-rate workers in Washington. The Washington Supreme Court decided in March of 2015 that piece-rate workers are entitled to receive wages during their rest periods. Not only are piece-rate workers entitled to rest period pay, they must receive the greater of either their regular rate of pay or minimum wage. Moving forward, agricultural employers who employ piece-rate workers may need to change their practices to comply with the holding of the case.

Pursuant to these new rules, agricultural employers must provide workers with a full, uninterrupted 10-minute break in each four-hour period of work. In addition, employers must pay piece-rate workers separate compensation for their rest period, and the separate payments must be based on the regular rate of pay or minimum wage, whichever is greater. To compute the regular rate, the employer must divide the total compensation earned in a workweek by the total active hours of work (not including the break time). Then, the employer must use the greater of their regular rate of pay or minimum wage, and multiply it by the amount of time the worker spends on rest periods. This amount should be added to the piece-rate workers weekly pay. For more information on compliance, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries has issued a helpful Administrative Policy.

If you still have questions, please contact the attorneys at Samuels Yoelin Kantor, LLP. We provide employers with advice and representation for a wide variety of legal issues. Our attorneys practicing employment law advise employers on how to avoid problems. We represent employers in State and Federal court, as well as in administrative proceedings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon Department of Justice, and the Oregon State Wage and Hour Division.