2017 ORS 652.230¹
Employee right of action against employer for unpaid wages and damages

(1) Any employee whose compensation is at a rate that is in violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex) shall have a right of action against the employer for the recovery of:

(a) The amount of the unpaid wages to which the employee is entitled for the one year period preceding the commencement of the action; and

(b) An additional amount as liquidated damages equal to the amount referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(2) The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing plaintiff in an action under this section. The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails in the action if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim or no objectively reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of a trial court.

(3) The action for the unpaid wages and liquidated damages may be maintained by one or more employees on behalf of themselves or other employees similarly situated.

(4) No agreement for compensation at a rate less than the rate to which such employee is entitled under ORS 652.210 (Definitions for ORS 652.210 to 652.235) to 652.235 (Motion to disallow award of compensatory and punitive damages) is a defense to any action under ORS 652.210 (Definitions for ORS 652.210 to 652.235) to 652.235 (Motion to disallow award of compensatory and punitive damages). [1955 c.193 §3; 1981 c.894 §87; 1995 c.618 §110]

Note: The amendments to 652.230 (Employee right of action against employer for unpaid wages and damages) by section 3, chapter 197, Oregon Laws 2017, become operative January 1, 2019. See section 14, chapter 197, Oregon Laws 2017. The text that is operative on and after January 1, 2019, is set forth for the user’s convenience.

652.230 (Employee right of action against employer for unpaid wages and damages). (1) Any employee whose compensation is at a rate that is in violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex) shall have a right of action against the employer for the recovery of:

(a) The amount of the unpaid wages to which the employee is entitled for the one year period preceding the commencement of the action; and

(b) An additional amount as liquidated damages equal to the amount referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(2) The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing plaintiff in an action under this section. The court may award reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails in the action if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim or no objectively reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of a trial court.

(3) The action for the unpaid wages and liquidated damages may be maintained by one or more employees on behalf of themselves or other employees similarly situated.

(4) No agreement for compensation at a rate less than the rate to which such employee is entitled under ORS 652.210 (Definitions for ORS 652.210 to 652.235) to 652.235 (Motion to disallow award of compensatory and punitive damages) is a defense to any action under ORS 652.210 (Definitions for ORS 652.210 to 652.235) to 652.235 (Motion to disallow award of compensatory and punitive damages).

(5) For the purpose of time limitations, a compensation practice that is unlawful under ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex) occurs each time compensation is paid pursuant to a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice.

(6) An action under this section alleging a violation of ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex) must be commenced within one year after the occurrence of the unlawful practice.

(7) Notwithstanding ORS 30.275 (Notice of claim) (2)(b), notice of claim against a public body under ORS 652.220 (Prohibition of discriminatory wage rates based on sex) must be given within 300 days of discovery of the alleged loss or injury.

Notes of Decisions

Where employer was charged with crim­i­nal viola­tion of Massachusetts pay­ment of wages statute for failing to pay discharged employees for their unused vaca­tion time, employer’s policy of paying discharged employees for unused vaca­tion time was not “employee welfare benefits plan” under sec­tion 3 (1) of Employee Retire­ment Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and crim­i­nal ac­tion to enforce that policy is therefore not foreclosed by sec­tion 514 (a) of ERISA. Massachusetts v. Morash, 490 U.S. 107, 109 S. Ct. 1668, 104 L.Ed 98 (1989)

It is unnecessary to imply private right of ac­tion for employee against secured creditor in pos­ses­sion under ORS 652.310 (Definitions of employer and employee) to 652.405 (Disposition of wages collected by commissioner when payment cannot be made to person entitled thereto) when to do so would render pro­vi­sions of ORS 652.110 (Method of paying employees) to 652.250 (Public employee’s wages as affected by absence to engage in search or rescue operation) superfluous. Stout v. Citicorp Industrial Credit, Inc., 102 Or App 637, 796 P2d 373 (1990), Sup Ct review denied

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 652—Hours; Wages; Wage Claims; Records, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors652.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 652, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano652.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.