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OREGON: Payroll law update, July-Dec. 2011

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

Child support. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the maximum that can be withheld from lump-sum payments to employees will increase to 50% of the payment, up from 25%. (Ch. 317, L. 2011)

Family leave. Beginning Aug. 2, 2011, employers that have at least six employees on the payroll each day for 20 weeks during the current or preceding year must allow unpaid leave to employees if they or their dependents have been the victims of harassment. Employees may substitute paid leave. To be eligible, employees must have worked an average of at least 25 hours a week for at least 180 days before leave is taken. Leave may be taken to address legal or medical issues. Employees must give advance notice of leave, unless advance notice isn’t feasible. Employers may require employees to provide certification within a reasonable amount of time of the need for leave. (Ch. 687, L. 2010)

Garnishment. Beginning June 2, 2011, employees whose disposable earnings are less than $218 a week cannot be subject to a commercial garnishment order. For employees not paid on a weekly basis, the floor is $435 for employees who are paid biweekly; $468 for employees who are paid semimonthly; and $936 for employees who are paid monthly. For any other pay periods that are longer than one week, the floor is $218, multiplied by a fraction produced by dividing the number of days for which the earnings are paid by seven. (Ch. 228, L. 2011)

Income tax withholding. Beginning with the 2011 tax year, paid tax preparers and corporations may be required to electronically file state returns if they must file federal returns electronically or by magnetic media. (Ch. 24, L. 2011)

Beginning with 2011 Forms 1099 filed in 2012, employers that file 250 or more of any type of 1099 form must file electronically.

Minimum wages. For 2012, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage increases to $8.80 an hour, up from $8.50.

Payment of wages. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, em­­ployers that bounce a payroll check will be liable for a civil penalty equal to the greater of $100 or triple the amount of the check, up to $500 over the amount of the check. The labor commissioner is authorized to pursue this penalty. (Ch. 238, L. 2011)

Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, employees who are owed wages must present their employers with written notices of nonpayment of wages that include an estimate of the amount of wages owed, or facts sufficient to allow their employers to estimate the amount owed. Written notices that fail to include this information won’t satisfy the requirement that employees notify employers in writing of outstanding wages.

The labor commission can attempt to make payment to employees of their unpaid wages for a period of three years (was seven years). (Ch. 348, L. 2011)

Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, employers can’t require employees to use vacation leave, sick leave or annual leave for time they spend on jury duty. Em­­ployers must allow employees to take unpaid leaves of absences for the duration of their jury duty. (Ch. 377, L. 2011)

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