Oregon Statutes - Chapter 653 - Minimum Wages; Employment Conditions; Minors - Section 653.055 - Liability of noncomplying employer; contrary agreements no defense; wage claims; suits to enjoin future violations; attorney fees.

(1) Any employer who pays an employee less than the wages to which the employee is entitled under ORS 653.010 to 653.261 is liable to the employee affected:

(a) For the full amount of the wages, less any amount actually paid to the employee by the employer; and

(b) For civil penalties provided in ORS 652.150.

(2) Any agreement between an employee and an employer to work at less than the wage rate required by ORS 653.010 to 653.261 is no defense to an action under subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries has the same powers and duties in connection with a wage claim based on ORS 653.010 to 653.261 as the commissioner has under ORS 652.310 to 652.445 and in addition the commissioner may, without the necessity of assignments of wage claims from employees, initiate suits against employers to enjoin future failures to pay required minimum wages or overtime pay and to require the payment of minimum wages and overtime pay due employees but not paid as of the time of the filing of suit. The commissioner may join in a single proceeding and in one cause of suit any number of wage claims against the same employer. If the commissioner does not prevail in such action, the commissioner shall pay all costs and disbursements from the Bureau of Labor and Industries Account.

(4) The court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in any action brought by an employee under this section. [1967 c.596 §11; 1977 c.513 §1; 1981 c.850 §2; 1981 c.897 §90; 1985 c.99 §7; 1995 c.618 §111]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008