Lewinter Law

Wage and Hour Law

Oregon and federal law require that employees be paid correctly for the work that they do. Employers must pay their employees the minimum wage of $11.25 an hour1. Often, employers also must pay “overtime,” which is one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours that the employee has worked over 40 hours in a week. Employers do not have to pay all employees overtime, however: Those employees who are “exempt” from getting overtime can work more than forty hours in a workweek, and not earn extra money for those hours.

Very often, employers get it wrong, and pay employees as if they were exempt under the law when they are not. Just paying an employee on a salary basis and calling that employee “exempt” isn’t enough under the law: For an employer to legally avoid paying overtime by classifying a particular employee as exempt, that employee has to meet very specific legal criteria. For those employees who have been misclassified as exempt, employers must pay the wages owed, and often must pay penalties, which can be more than twice the wages initially owed. Determining whether an employer has paid its employees correctly often requires a careful evaluation of the specific facts of each case.

Employers often short employees’ paychecks in a number of other illegal ways, for example:

  • Employers make employees work from home “on their own time,” and don’t pay them for those hours worked
  • Employers allow employees to clock out and keep working “off the clock”
  • Employers take “surprise” deductions from employees’ pay.
  • Employers misclassify employees as independent contractors rather than employees, when a careful legal analysis would show that those workers are actually the employer’s employees, and entitled to earn the minimum wage and overtime for their work.
  • Employers illegally require employees in the manufacturing industry to work more hours in a day or week than Oregon law permits.

Andrew Lewinter represents employees who have not been paid appropriately under Oregon and federal law. Andrew represents workers on either an individual basis or as a group of employees (class) who have not been paid correctly. Andrew does not charge for initial consultations for people who believe that their employers have not paid them correctly.

1It’s $12.50 an hour in the Portland Metro area, and $11.00 an hour in non-urban counties

Call (541) 686-4900
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