PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the fifth straight year, Oregon’s minimum wage was officially raised on Wednesday.
On July 1, 2016, the state’s minimum wage increased to $9.75. A year later and in each of the succeeding years through now, the minimum wage increased by 50-cents an hour. That means beginning Wednesday, the minimum wage in Oregon will be $12 an hour. But some areas, such as the Portland metro (which is within the urban growth boundary) will have a $13.25 minimum wage. Other non-urban areas will have a minimum wage of $11.50.
Oregon’s minimum wage will increase each July 1 through 2022. Then in 2023, the minimum wage will be adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.
The Bureau of Labor and Industries states, “If you are paid by piece rate, per hour, by commission, or paid by the day, your wages still have to add up to at least minimum wage for each hour you worked.”
That means if you earn tips, the tips are separate and can’t be counted as wages. Tips can be pooled among other workers, but management can’t share in the tip pool.
Workers can’t agree to earn less than the minimum wage, which is the same for adults as it is for minors.
Oregon Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle said no one has come to her with concerns of not being able to afford the minimum wage increase this year. She says this minimum wage increase has been 4 years in the making — so most businesses knew this increase was scheduled.
“I think the minimum wage is even more critical now during this pandemic as federal benefits for workers are starting to run out and our economy needs help,” she said. “People are struggling and raising the minimum wage means more money in their pocket and more money going into our local economy going to local businesses.”
These mandated hikes are a result of Senate Bill 1532, which became law in 2016. The federal minimum wage is $7.25. It hasn’t gone up since 2009. Last year’s bump in pay impacted about 162,000 Oregonians.
“As people, whether they’re in the hospitality industry or they’re other front line workers, the bottom line is that them having more money — you put more money into the economy with a higher minimum wage those people spend that money locally and again, that benefits our economy,” Hoyle said.
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