Manufacturers who will be affected by the new changes to the overtime rules may be interested in attending a public hearing and/or providing public comment on the development of the Oregon Administrative Rules that BOLI will be promulgating related to the amended overtime statutes for manufacturing establishments (ORS 652.020) and for canneries, driers, and packing plants (ORS 653.265). 

The legislature amended these statutes to provide caps on the number of hours that employees in manufacturing establishments and in canneries, driers and packing plants could work in a week.  Now manufacturing employers may not require that employees work more than 55 hours per week, unless an employee requests or voluntarily consents to work additional hours, and only then may an employee work a maximum of 60 hours per week.  Both statutes provide for an undue hardship exemption for employers who process “perishable products.”  The proposed rules severely restrict the definition of a “perishable product,” currently defined as “any product that may spoil, deteriorate, or undergo other material changes that render it unsuitable for the use for which it was produced.  ‘Perishable product’ includes agricultural crops, meat and fish.” (OAR 839-001-0100 (17)).  In addition, the proposed rules currently limit the ability of an employer to seek an undue hardship by the definition for “undue hardship period” in OAR 839-001-0100 (19), which is currently listed as “the period of time during which perishable product must be processed after harvesting, slaughter or catch.”  Based on this limiting language, BOLI’s current position is that employers who seek to obtain an undue hardship exemption must have a product that is harvested, slaughtered, or caught.  This would exclude products that meet the perishable product definition such as cement products or even milk products, which BOLI currently states are not harvested, slaughtered or caught.

On November 30, 2017, BOLI announced that it received a request for hearing on the new rules, and therefore was sending out a new Notice and Proposed Rules.  The public hearing for the rules will take place on December 18, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. on the 10th floor of the Portland State Office Building at 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland, Oregon 97232.  A new deadline for public comment on the proposed rules is 5 p.m. on December 22, 2017.  Members of the public are welcome to submit comments by mail or email prior to the deadline.  Comments to the rules may be emailed to the BOLI Rules Coordinator at or mailed to Marcia Ohlemiller c/o BOLI, 800 NE Oregon Street, #1045, Portland, OR 97232.

We have provided a link to the proposed rules and to the notice of rulemaking hearing.  We are happy to work with employers who have questions about these proposed rules and how they might affect your workforce.

Related article: 2017 Manufacturing Employment Law Update

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