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Oregon-Any law re: when to clock in Oregon

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  • Oregon-Any law re: when to clock in Oregon

    I was wondering if anyone knows whether any state law (Oregon) covers when an employee is technically punched in/out. The specific issue is whether one is "on the clock" when they show up at the work site or if it is only after they report to an assigned work area (given the size of the work site, in this case, this is a non-trivial distinction). Thank you.

  • #2
    Oregon is not my state. Under federal law this is potentially complicated. If (for example) the employer requires the employee to report to an office, then the job site, hours worked start at the office. If instead the employee chooses to stop by the office on the way to the job site (say to get coffee or use the restroom), then hours worked start at the job site.

    It sometimes gets more nuanced then that. Preparation or clean up is usually (but not always) hours worked. There was a court decision fairly recently were (given a very specific set of facts) the time it took the employer to drive employees from the worksite to the employer's mandatory use parking lot for employee cars was considered hours worked. This last decision was unusual, but an employer who puts sufficent restrictions on an employees activities risk turning what would otherwise be unpaid time into paid time.


    Not exactly your question, but "punch in/out" or "clock" or all of the other distinctions are mostly legally meaningless. Under federal law (FLSA), Non-Exempt employees are based on actual hours worked and FLSA is the authority on what is legally an hour worked. If the FLSA says 9 hours was worked and the "clock" says 8 hours was worked, then legally the clock is wrong and legally the clock must be ignored. There is nothing Oregon or any other state can do to make federal law less favorable to employees, although state law can be more favorable to employees.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Thank you

      I will I suppose have to examine FLSA to see how it quantifies time worked then. Much appreciated.


      • #4

        Looks like the relevant bit is the Portal to Portal act. It says that time for travel to the worksite is unpaid (this is according to the summary, I tried to read the actual act but can't make heads or tails of the legalese).

        Does anyone know a good summary of the act that is trustworthy? Or can someone read the act and explain in English how they define the term "worksite" (or whatever they use)?

        I would think that "worksite"" means when you step on to company property, but of course the legal definition may be entirely different.


        • #5
          Check out IBP, INC. V. ALVAREZ 546 U.S. 21 (2005).


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