Effective July 1, 2017, Oregon’s minimum wage increases across the State. As you may recall, in 2016, Oregon adopted a three-tiered minimum wage: the Portland Metro rate, the Standard rate and the Nonurban Counties rate. Here’s how the rate is changing for each area:
|Area||Current Minimum Wage||July 1, 2017 Minimum Wage|
Of course, with an increase in the minimum wage comes a corresponding increase in the overtime rate, which is one-and-a-half times the minimum wage, so $16.88 for the Portland Metro area, $15.38 for the Standard area and $15.00 for the Nonurban Counties.
The Portland Metro area consists of all areas within the Portland metropolitan area urban growth boundary. The Nonurban Counties are Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler Counties. The Standard rate applies to the remainder of the State. This Bureau of Labor and industries’ map illustrates the three-tiered minimum wage:
The rate changes apply to any work performed on or after July 1, 2017. This means the change may come in the middle of a pay period for some employees. An employer cannot delay the increase until the employee’s next pay period.
Employers should take whatever steps are necessary to prepare their payroll system for the minimum wage increase. Employers should also update the minimum wage poster that every employer must post in an area accessible to all employees. For employers using the all-in-one federal and state employment law poster, you can replace your current poster or simply change the minimum wage on that section of your current poster.
The new $11.25 Portland Metro minimum wage is one of the highest minimum wages in the country, but still well below Seattle’s $13.50 minimum wage for large employers. Oregon employers can rest easy after the July 1, 2017 increase. The next scheduled increase doesn’t come until July 1, 2018.