Guide to Oregon Labor Laws About Breaks
If you are working for an employer in Oregon, you are protected by several Oregon labor laws about breaks. Although federal laws do not protect many breaks for employees, Oregon labor laws about breaks ensure that almost all employees get some break time during their work day. This guide will give you a basic overview of some Oregon labor laws about breaks. If you believe your employer has violated Oregon labor laws about breaks or you need specific advice for your situation, you may wish to consult with a labor and employment attorney.
Oregon labor laws about breaks mandate that employers give periodic rest breaks to employees. For every four hours that you work, Oregon labor laws about breaks require your employer to give you ten minutes of paid break time. These breaks may be longer than ten minutes, if your employer permits it, but cannot be shorter legally. If your employment agreement or union contract requires longer rest breaks than are required by Oregon labor laws about breaks, the agreement must be followed.
While federal laws do not mandate meal breaks for adult employees, Oregon labor laws about breaks require that all employees be given a 30 minute meal break if they work a shift of six hours or longer. If you are relieved of all job duties during your meal break, your employer is not required by Oregon labor laws about breaks to pay you for the break time. However, if you have any job duties that are still your responsibility during your meal break, your break time must be paid by your employer.
Oregon labor laws about breaks require that, in the interest of workplace safety, all employees have the freedom to take reasonable bathroom breaks as needed. If you have a medical condition that requires you to need more frequent bathroom breaks than other employees, this is typically considered a reasonable accommodation and must be allowed by your employer based on Oregon labor laws about breaks and disability discrimination.
Federal and Oregon labor laws about breaks now require that employers provide reasonable amounts of unpaid break time for nursing mothers who need time to express their breastmilk. These breaks must be granted in order for women to avoid discomfort and diminished milk supply while they are breastfeeding. An employer may not fire an employee for taking time to express her breast milk during the work day. This is generally considered to be sex discrimination and is outlawed by both state and federal employment laws.
Vacation and Sick Time
While many employment agreements and union contracts specify holiday, vacation, and sick leave for employees, there are no Oregon labor laws about breaks that pertain to days off. You are not entitled to paid or unpaid time off for sick or vacation time, and no specific numbers of sick or vacation days are mandated by the state.