Complying with minimum wage laws can seem confusing at times. And with three minimum wage rates in Oregon, there's even more information to juggle.
Let's see how to comply with minimum wage laws in Oregon and how to deal with the increases coming on July 1, 2023.
What is the Minimum Wage in Oregon?
Effective July 1, 2023, Oregon's standard minimum wage is $14.20. In the Portland metro area, the rate is $15.45, and for non-urban counties, it's $13.20.
Oregon has three different minimum wage rates based on where you live: a standard state minimum wage and rates for Portland and non-urban counties.
These minimum wage rates can increase every year, effective July 1, based on increases in the consumer price index (CPI) or cost of living.
Here's how they've changed since last July:
|Effective Date||Standard Minimum Wage||Portland Metro Area||Non-Urban Counties|
|July 1, 2022||$13.50||$14.75||$12.50|
|July 1, 2023||$14.20||$15.45||$13.20|
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Where Is the Highest Minimum Wage?
The highest minimum wage in Oregon is in the Portland metro area, where the rate is $1.25 more than the base rate of $14.20.
In contrast, the lowest rate applies to the state's rural counties. In these areas, the minimum hourly rate is calculated as $1.00 less than the base rate.
How Much Will Minimum Wage Workers Earn in Oregon in 2023?
You can use the following chart to see the daily, weekly, and annual income of individuals who work full-time and earn the hourly minimum wage. The chart defines full-time work as eight hours per day, 40 hours per week, and 52 weeks in the year.
|Rate||Hourly wage (effective July 1, 2023)||Daily income||Weekly income||Annual income|
How To Figure Out Which Rate to Use
If your business has one location and your employees work in person, you just need to figure out which county you're located in and use its minimum wage.
However, it can be a bit confusing if you have employees working in counties with different rates. For example, you may have construction crews working across various counties.
Here's how to find which rate applies to you, also known as the applicable minimum wage.
For Employees who Work at Your Business Location
- If the employee does 50% or more of their work from your fixed business location during a pay period, use the rate that applies to that location.
- For delivery employees that start and end their workday at your business's permanent location, use the rate that applies to that location.
For Employees who Work Away from Your Business Location
Let's say your office is in Portland, which uses a minimum wage rate that's $1.25 higher than the base rate.
However, you have a remote employee who lives and works in Wheeler County, which uses a minimum wage that's $1.00 lower than the state's base rate. In this case, you use the hourly wage of Wheeler County because your employee works most of their time from there.
What about employees who work outside your office in multiple counties during a pay period?
For instance, you may have a construction crew that spent 50% of their time in Jackson County, which uses the standard rate, and 50% of their time in Wheeler County, which uses the lower non-urban rate.
In this case, Oregon's labor laws give you two options. You can either:
- Pay the applicable rate for each hour worked in each region: In other words, 50% of their hours get paid at the standard rate and 50% at the lower non-urban rate. This option can save you money but requires more work.
- Pay the highest rate that applies to that employee and use it for all hours they work: Using the example, this means you pay the state's base rate for all hours during this pay period. This option requires less work calculating different rates, but it means you pay your employees more.
Either way, you need to keep track of all the locations your employee worked to comply with the state's minimum wage law.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Counties Use Oregon's Standard Minimum Wage Rate?
Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, and Yamhill all use the standard minimum rate. The standard rate is $13.50 for the first half of 2023. It goes up to $14.20 per hour on July 1, 2023.
In addition, the standard rate also applies to parts of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties that lie outside the urban growth boundary (i.e., the urban areas).
There are some areas of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties that are within the urban growth boundary. These areas use the Portland Metro wage rate, which is $1.25 higher than the base rate. At the beginning of 2023, the minimum wage in those areas will be $14.75. It increases to $15.45 on July 1, 2023.
You can use the state's Urban Growth Boundary Lookup tool to see which minimum wage rate applies to you. Once you know your applicable rate, you can use payroll software like Hourly to easily update your hourly rates and stay compliant with state law.
What Is Oregon Minimum Wage for Portland in 2023?
Effective July 1, 2023, the Portland metro area minimum wage is $15.45—up from $14.75 an hour set last July.
You add $1.25 to the state's base rate to calculate Portland's minimum hourly rate. When you add $1.25 to the new base rate of $14.20, you get $15.45.
Which Counties Use the Higher Rate?
As of writing, the higher minimum wage rate applies to areas in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties within Oregon's urban growth boundary.
What Is Oregon's 2023 Minimum Rural Wage?
Effective July 1, 2023, the minimum wage for rural counties in Oregon is $13.20 per hour—up $12.50 per hour set last July.
Oregon's rural minimum wage is calculated by subtracting $1.00 from the base rate. When the state's base rate increases to $14.20 per hour in July, the rural rate goes up to $13.20.
Which Counties Use Oregon's Non-Urban Rate?
Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler counties all use the lower rural minimum wage.
Does Oregon Have Minimum Wage Exceptions for Minors or Students?
No. The state's minimum wage applies to all covered employees regardless of age or whether or not the employee has a training period.
How Does Minimum Wage Apply to Tipped Employees in Oregon?
In Oregon, tips are separate from wages. This means you can't count an employee's income from tips towards their wages. As a result, tipped employees in Oregon should be paid the full minimum wage on top of the tips they earn.
Mark Your Calendars for July 1
This July, Oregon will raise its standard minimum hourly rate to $14.20. For Portland, it'll go up to $15.45, and for non-urban counties, it will be $13.20.
And, if inflation stays strong, the minimum wage is likely to increase again in Oregon next July. Make sure to stay on top of any increases so you can be sure you're paying your employees the correct amount and avoid any back pay.
Now that you know what the new rates are and how to find your applicable rate, all you have to do is mark your calendar so you remember to increase your hourly wage rates starting July 1.