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Oregon BOLI: Workers’ final paychecks are owed in full

Oregon Labor and Industries

Timelines outlined; 'no exceptions'

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As many businesses temporarily close operations and lay off workers due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries noted Friday that it’s important for workers to understand their rights to the wages they’re owed (and for employers to know their obligations).

If you are laid off, you must receive all of the wages you have earned by your next regularly scheduled payday after layoff. If your employer has a policy of paying out vacation time, you must receive it in full at that time as well.

If you are laid off without a reasonable expectation that you will be returned to work within 35 days, all of the wages you have been earned are due more quickly – by the end of the first business day after you are laid off.

In each case, the law requires employers to pay wages in full. There are no exceptions.

“I want to be clear: This is not a moment for employers to take advantage of workers or violate civil rights,” says Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle. “Using a crisis to harm employees is unacceptable, and I will use the full weight of my office to prevent and remedy those efforts.”

“I appreciate and recognize the good faith efforts of the majority of employers to do the right thing during this crisis, but the law is clear,” Hoyle says. “You must pay your workers.”

Workers who believe they haven’t been paid what they are owed are advised to keep any documents they have such as pay stubs, work schedules, or other information. Workers can make a claim with BOLI on their website or email

If your employer goes out of business and can’t pay you wages you’re owed, the Wage Security Fund can help make sure you don’t lose income. Workers can get up to $10,000 back on unpaid wages you’re owed from before the company went out of business.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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