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Employment Law/Notice of pay frequency change in Oregon

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Question
In Oregon:  How much notice do you have to give employees (we have two, in a church) of a change in paydays?  Currently paying one semimonthly in advance & one monthly in advance, want to change to paying semimonthly in arrears.

Answer
Paydays may be changed, but it would be best to give employees advance written notice thereof setting out the next three paydays - 1) the last old payday; 2) the first new payday; and 3) the next-following new payday. That way, employees will not be able to credibly claim confusion, and the requirement of paying at least twice each month will be met.

Concerning a change in paydays, especially if the company wants to increase the interval between the end of a pay period and the date on which wages are paid, it would be good to give adequate advance notice of the change (as much advance notice as possible). There is no law that prescribes exactly how a change like this must be implemented. Naturally, a company would want to do it in such a way that employees' financial planning is not compromised. Otherwise, the company will get many complaints, which will take a lot of staff time to deal with. The companies that have the most success and least trouble with a change in paydays seem to be the ones that arrange for a gap-bridging paycheck as a transition from the old paydays to the new paydays. Alternatively, some companies give employees a wage advance that serves as a gap-bridger as described above - the employees all sign a deduction authorization agreement that allows the employer to deduct the wage advance from subsequent paychecks in specified installments, or from the final paycheck in a lump sum. Short of that, it is permissible on a one-time basis to have employees wait a few days for the first paycheck under the new pay schedule. That may result in some complaints, but most such complaints go away once the check is issued. Minimize complaints by giving as much advance notice as possible and advising employees to carefully plan for the transition.

The pay periods normally change when a company transitions between a biweekly and a semi-monthly pay plan. Biweekly pay plans feature two-week pay periods, while semi-monthly pay plans involve pay periods that start on specific dates and end on specific dates within each month, resulting in variable pay periods (from 13 to 16 days, depending upon the month and whether it is a leap year). With both types of pay plans, salaried exempt and salaried non-exempt employees receive the same amount on each paycheck (with overtime as needed for non-exempt salaried employees), while the totals for hourly employees will normally vary, especially for employees paid semi-monthly, due to the variance in the number of days worked in each pay period. It is important to remember that the "workweek" for Fair Labor Standards Act purposes does not change and will not be affected by a change in paydays. The workweek is important because that is how overtime is tracked and paid. With semi-monthly pay, overtime can get a bit tricky. Overtime that occurs in a workweek that falls fully within a semi-monthly pay period must be paid with the paycheck covering that pay period, but overtime that falls into a workweek that spans two pay periods will have to be paid with the paycheck for the second of the two pay periods spanned by the overtime workweek.  

Employment Law

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Experience

30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

Organizations
SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

Education/Credentials
PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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