The Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 4002, which imposes a 40-hour overtime pay mandate for agricultural workers. You can see the enrolled language of HB 4002 on the Oregon State Legislature’s website here. The new law has a four-year phase-in period beginning at 55 hours per week in 2023 and decreasing to 40 hours per week in 2027. The law also establishes a refundable tax credit for eligible employers to recover all or part of the incremental wage increase attributed to overtime pay. This tax credit is capped at $55 million per calendar year and phases out in 2029. Farm labor contractors are not eligible to claim the tax credit, but farm employers of contracted workers may be eligible with appropriate documentation. While Representative Shelly Boshart Davis proposed an amendment that included exemptions for highly seasonal agricultural employers, a highly seasonal agricultural exemption did not make it into the law. The Legislature provided a one-time allocation of $10 million (HB 5202) to establish a grant program, loan program, or lending program to provide financial assistance to employers to mitigate the costs associated with overtime pay. HB 4002 directs the Oregon Departments of Agriculture and Administrative Services to draft legislation by September 2022 to create this assistance program. Employers who are found to violate the overtime pay requirements will owe regular pay, back pay, and civil money penalties. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to business and employment lawyer Annyika Corbett.
This article summarizes aspects of the law and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice for your situation, you should contact an attorney.
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