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Oregon and Washington Raise Minimum Wage For 2011

October 22, 2010


Effective January 1, 2011, the minimum wage rate is going up in Oregon and Washington. These will be the first increases to the minimum wage in both states in two years.

Oregon's minimum wage will increase by 10 cents to $8.50/hour (up from $8.40/hour).

Oregon law requires the Bureau of Labor and Industries to adjust Oregon’s minimum wage annually based on the federal Consumer Price Index. For 2009 and 2010 there were no changes to Oregon’s minimum wage because the federal CPI did not increase. However, over the last year the federal CPI increased slightly more than one percent, thereby prompting BOLI to raise the state minimum wage. (Interestingly, Oregon’s CPI decreased during the last year. However, state law ties increases in the minimum wage to the federal CPI.)

Washington's minimum wage will increase by 12 cents to $8.67/hour (up from $8.55/hour).

As in Oregon, Washington law also requires the Department of Labor & Industries to adjust Washington's minimum wage annually based on the federal CPI. As a result, L&I made no changes to Washington’s minimum wage for 2009 or 2010.

The federal minimum wage will continue to be $7.25/hour. Because employers must pay the higher of the federal minimum wage or the state minimum wage, it is the state minimum wage that will continue to control in Oregon and Washington.

We will continue to monitor wage and hour developments. Please feel free to contact Bullard Law with any questions regarding minimum wages or any other labor, employment and benefits issues.

- Jennifer N. Warberg