Your Guide to Oregon’s Minimum Wage

What is the new minimum wage changes that just took place?

On July 1, 2017, Oregon’s minimum wage increased to $10.25 for companies in the Standard area, $11.25 in the Portland metro area, and $10 for companies in the non-urban counties. The minimum wage in Oregaon will increase again across all counties on July 1, 2018 (see table below).

What are the standard and non-urban counties?

oregon's standard and non-urban counties

Are there plans to change the minimum wage in Oregon?

Yes. Senate Bill 1532 calls for a series of annual minimum wage rate increases from July 1, 2016, through July 1, 2022. Beginning July 1, 2023, the Oregon minimum wage rate will be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

What’s happening beyond 2018?
Date Standard Counties Portland Metro Non-Urban Counties
July 1, 2017 $10.25 $11.25 $10.00
July 1, 2018 $10.75 $12.00 $10.50
July 1, 2019 $11.25 $12.50 $11.00
July 1, 2020 $12.00 $13.25 $11.50
July 1, 2021 $12.75 $14.00 $12.00
July 1, 2022 $13.50 $14.75 $12.50
July 1, 2023 Adjusted based on Consumer Price Index $1.25 more than standard minimum wage $1 less than the standard minimum wage
How should small business owners prepare for minimum wage and paid leave increases?

Every business is different, so there isn’t one right way to prepare. Here are a few options you may want to consider:

  • Audit your expenses: Check your cash flow in detail and create a hiring plan that you can afford. In some cases, you may find that hiring temporary workers as needed is less expensive than taking on full-time regular staff.
  • Make sure you hire and keep the right employees: Replacing an employee costs a lot. You decrease the total cost associated with recruiting and training when you hire (and then retain) the right people. Look for candidates with good track records, who come recommended, and who fit in with the company culture. Once they’re onboarded, make sure you build a relationship and provide paths for growth; it makes it more likely that they will stay in their role.
  • Increase prices: This is a great way to increase cash flow. Customers are rarely happy with a price hike, but keep in mind that your competitors will be forced to do the same. Just make sure you keep track of trends, and don’t raise prices too high.
  • Update tech: Consider automating certain aspects of the work (like payroll), and find ways to reduce production costs.

As always, to make sure your business is prepared and stays in compliance, we recommend that you discuss these upcoming changes to the Oregon minimum wage and paid family leave laws with your accountant and lawyer.

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