Wage & Hour Laws -- Employee
Oregon’s final paycheck rules make it clear when an employer should issue final paychecks to departing employees. Whether a worker has quit or has been let go, final paycheck law should provide a clear legal process to ensure employees are paid properly.
Many employees will wonder whether an employer can make deductions from their final paycheck or be concerned they might lose unpaid vacation when they quit. Understanding these rules should provide clarity on the rights an employee has, no matter how they leave their employer.
When an employee is let go or leaves an employer by mutual agreement, the final paycheck should be paid by the end of the first business day after they leave the company.
If an employee quits, when the final paycheck should be paid depends on how much notice the employee gives their employer:
Employees who earn a sales commission should receive their final paycheck within the same deadlines, unless their commission agreement states that it will not be paid until the employer receives payment for the related sale.
If an employee believes they haven’t been paid their final paycheck on time, they can make a claim with Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries, Wage and Hour Division. Their complaint will be investigated and they might be able to recover their unpaid wages, as well as their costs.
Oregon law says that if a final paycheck hasn’t been paid properly, an employer may also have to pay a “penalty wage” to the employee. If the paycheck is late, a court can order the employer to pay wages for up to 30 days at the employee’s usual daily rate, starting from the day they leave the company until the final paycheck is paid.
A final paycheck should include all earned wages that the employee has not yet received and there are only specific circumstances where an employer is allowed to withhold any wages. In Oregon, an employer is allowed to make deductions from a final paycheck when:
An employer in Oregon is not required to offer any vacation days to its employees. However, if it does provide vacation as part of its employment agreement, it is required to honor its own policies when an employer leaves. This means an employee’s final paycheck should include payment for the unused vacation they are entitled to if their contract says it should.