Oregon Administrative Exemption

by Joel Christiansen

Oregon law exempts certain administrative employees from overtime, minimum wage, and other laws that would otherwise govern the employment relationship.

Employers expose themselves to liability any time they cannot prove that an employee meets the legal requirements for the administrative exemption.

ORS 653.020(3) creates an exemption for workers who are engaged in qualifying administrative work:

  • An individual engaged in administrative […] work who:
    • Performs predominantly intellectual, managerial or creative tasks;
    • Exercises discretion and independent judgment; and
    • Earns a salary and is paid on a salary basis.

OAR 839-020-0005 specifies that “administrative employee” means an employee:

  • Whose primary duty consists of either:

    • The performance of office or non-manual work directly related to management policies or general business operations of the employee’s employer or the employer’s customers; or
    • The performance of functions in the administration of a school system, or educational establishment or institution, or of a department or subdivision thereof, in work directly related to the academic instruction or training carried on therein; and
  • Who customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment; and
  • Who regularly and directly assists a proprietor, or an employee employed in a bona fide executive or administrative capacity; or
    • Who performs under only general supervision work along specialized or technical lines requiring special training, experience, or knowledge, or;
    • Who executes under only general supervision special assignments and tasks; and
  • Who earns a salary and is paid on a salary basis pursuant to ORS 653.025 exclusive of board, lodging, or other facilities.

Please be advised that the above-listed statutes and rules are informational only. Since laws are always changing and will apply differently in different situations, you are encouraged to contact an attorney for help with any particular concerns.