COURT REJECTS BOLI’S NEW INTERPRETATION OF DAILY/WEEKLY OVERTIME RULE

On March 9, 2017, the Multnomah County Circuit Court rejected BOLI’s new interpretation of how manufacturing employers should pay overtime to employees. As our previous post explained, prior to January 2017, BOLI’s guidance instructed manufacturing employers to pay employees the greater of daily or weekly overtime.  In December 2016, BOLI issued an Administrator’s Interpretation stating that manufacturing employers were required to pay both daily and weekly overtime to employees.  The Court found that plaintiffs’ position (which was, not coincidentally, the position taken by BOLI) failed to give effect to all of the provisions in the applicable wage and hour statutes.  In contrast, the Court held that: “Defendant’s interpretation of the statutory scheme is that (consistent with BOLI’s pre-December 2016 interpretation) an employer subject to both ORS 652.020 and ORS 653.261 must calculate both daily and weekly overtime and pay the greater of the two.” And that:”Defendant’s interpretation of ORS 652.020 and ORS 652.261 is the proper interpretation of the statutory scheme.”

It is not yet known if plaintiffs will appeal. Further, legislation has been introduced (Senate Bill 984) to amend the statute to clarify that manufacturing employers are required to pay the greater of daily or weekly overtime (not both).  We will continue to follow developments.

A link to the opinion is here: http://www.sussmanshank.com/files/Opinion and Order re MSJ (02525418x7AC43).PDF

The text of SB 984 can be found here: http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2017/SB984/

 

 

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