Oregon state law provides protections employees to ensure that they are paid fairly by their employers. Thus, it is important to know what rights these laws provide to you as an employee, so you know what you can reasonably expect from your employer with regard to your paycheck.

When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out?

In Oregon, you have the right to receive your paycheck on a regular basis no less than once every 35 days. However, your company can set its own policy to pay you more often than that, so long as the paydays are regular. These requirements are the same if you are a salaried employee or an hourly employee.

What Happens If I Am Fired?

If you were fired from your job, your employer has to pay you by the end of the next business day. Anyone who quits and provides at least 48 hours notice must receive their final paycheck by immediately. However, if you quit without providing 48 hours notice, your employer has to pay you within 5 business days or by the next payday, whichever one comes first. There are exceptions for seasonal farm workers with regard to final payment requirements.  Seasonal farm workers are owed their last paycheck immediately if they are fired or within 48 hours or the next payday, whichever is earlier, if they fail to provide adequate notice of their intent to quit.

Even though state law does entitle employees to paid sick leave, Oregon does not require employers to pay terminated employees for unused sick days. The only way that your employer will be required to financially reimburse you for any accrued paid time off is if they have already agreed to pay you that money in either your contract or as part of their preexisting policy. So, you should check your company’s policy and your employment contract carefully to see if you are owed money for your accrued paid time off in your final paycheck.

Can My Paycheck Be Garnished?

A creditor can deduct money from your paycheck even without an order from the court authorizing the deduction if they are collecting unpaid child support, defaulted student loans, or unpaid taxes. Otherwise, any creditor looking to collect on a personal debt through garnishment must take you to court and get a court judgment against you. The creditor can then have your wages garnished to cover the debt.

If you have damaged products at work or your actions have led to a shortage in the till, your employer cannot deduct that amount from your paycheck. Instead, they must take you to court to recover the money.

Can I Recover a Withheld Paycheck?

If your paycheck is being withheld, you have the right to get it. The Wage and Hour Division of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries will investigate your complaint against your employer and help you get your money if your complaint is valid.

Should I Know Anything Else?

In Oregon, employers can require employees who earn more than minimum wage to pay for their tools and uniforms as long as the purchase does not lower the employee’s paycheck below minimum wage. Employees who only earn minimum wage cannot usually be made to pay for a uniform, except where the uniform is generic enough that it can double as street wear.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

As an employee, some of the most important rights you possess are the ones related to your paycheck. You should reach out to a lawyer in Oregon about asserting your rights if your employer is not paying you the correct amount and on time.