Workers’ Class Action brought by NWJP Causes State Labor Agency to Change its Interpretation of Daily Manufacturing Overtime

In August 2016, NWJP filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of seven immigrant and refugee class representatives against a Portland commercial bakery for violations of the requirement in Oregon law to pay daily manufacturing overtime and weekly overtime, among other wage and hour and paid sick leave violations. Specifically, the workers say that production workers should be paid both daily manufacturing overtime when they work more than 10 hours a day and weekly overtime for hours over 40 in a week.

The employer, Portland Specialty Baking, LLC, manufactures baked goods such as bagels, pretzels, and hand pies that are sold under the Franz brand name and at Starbucks and Jamba Juice.

The employer claims that it was justified in paying only the higher of daily overtime or weekly overtime, but not both, based on a technical assistance publication published by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). In response to the lawsuit, BOLI’s Wage and Hour Division issued a formal interpretation saying that employers must pay both manufacturing and weekly overtime, as NWJP’s clients claim. BOLI changed its website and materials to make it clear that manufacturing employers must pay both types of overtime.

The interpretation will apply not only to the employees in this lawsuit, but to an estimated 187,477 manufacturing workers in Oregon, who will now be compensated for working more than 10 hours in a day and any hours worked over 40 in a week.

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