Oregon Household Employment

Household employers need to comply with tax, wage, and labor laws that affect nannies, in-home senior caregivers, and other household employees. While federal laws cover employers in all states, there are also state- and city-specific regulations that employers must follow. Here’s what you need to know about Oregon household employment.

Minimum Wage

Household employees must be paid at least the highest of federal, state, or the applicable local minimum wage rate. There are three different minimum wage rates in Oregon:

Portland Metro – $13.25/hour (Increases to $14/hour in 2021 and $14.75/hour in 2022)

Standard – $12/hour (Increases to $12.75/hour in 2021 and $13.50/hour in 2022.)

Non-urban counties – $11.50/hour (Increases to $12/hour in 2021 and $12.50/hour in 2022.)

To determine which rate applies to your county, visit Oregon Minimum Wage Rate Summary.


Household employees in Oregon are required to be paid at least time and a half for hours worked over 40 in a seven-day workweek. They must be given at least 24 consecutive hours of rest each calendar week. If the employee agrees to work on their day of rest, they must be paid overtime for each hour they work that day. Overtime compensation is required for live-in employees if they work more than 44 hours in a work week.

Domestic Workers’ Protection Act

Under Oregon’s Domestic Workers’ Protection Act, household employees:

  • Receive at least one day off per week; if they work on their day off, they must receive overtime pay for each hour worked.
  • Get at least eight hours of time off during a 24-hour period if they are a live-in employee and be provided a space with adequate conditions for uninterrupted sleep.
  • Receive overtime pay of at least time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 hours in a week; or 44 hours for live-in employees.
  • Get at least three personal leave days each year if they have worked an average of at least 30 hours per week during the previous year.
  • Have the right to cook their own food in the home, subject to reasonable restrictions based on the religious or health needs of the home’s residents.
  • Enjoy protections under state laws regarding sexual harassment or harassment based on gender, race, national origin, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

The law doesn’t cover in-home caregivers for seniors and persons with disabilities; occasional babysitters; independent contractors; or the employer’s parent, spouse, or child under 26-years old.

State Unemployment Tax & Rate

In Oregon, the new employer SUI (state unemployment insurance) rate is 2.1 percent on the first $42,100 of wages for each employee. Employers with previous employees may be subject to a different rate that ranges from 0.9 to 5.4 percent. This an employer-only tax.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Household employers in Oregon are not required to have workers’ compensation coverage for any full- or part-time employees. However, you can choose a voluntary policy to protect both you and your employee. Get a quote on workers’ compensation insurance.

Helpful Links

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

Oregon Department of Revenue

Federal Regulations

All household employers need to follow certain federal regulations including:

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Classification Guidelines

  • Household workers are considered employees and not independent contractors. Learn more about misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
  • Household workers are also non-exempt employees, which means they receive overtime pay of at least time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 per workweek. Learn more about overtime pay.

FICA Taxes

Social Security and Medicare taxes are commonly referred to as FICA taxes. If you pay cash wages of $2,200 or more to any household employee in a calendar year, then you need to withhold and pay FICA taxes. FICA taxes are 15.3 percent of cash wages. As an employer, you pay 7.65 percent (6.2 percent for Social Security and 1.45 percent for Medicare). Your employee’s share is also 7.65 percent, which you can withhold from their wages or choose to pay it yourself. You don’t withhold or owe FICA taxes on wages you pay to your spouse, child under the age of 21, parent, or any employee under the age of 18 at any time during the calendar year.

Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)

If you pay a household employee total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter, you’ll owe federal unemployment tax. This is an employer-only tax. FUTA is six percent of cash wages on the first $7,000 you pay an employee.

Mileage Reimbursement

If your employee uses their own car in the course of their work, you can reimburse them for mileage. For 2020, the IRS has set the optional standard mileage rate at 57.5 cents per mile driven. Paying mileage is not mandatory or you can reimburse your employee at a different rate. However, if the cost of mileage causes your employee to fall below minimum wage, then you need to reimburse them for mileage.

GTM Can Help with Oregon Household Employment

Call (800) 929-9213 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert. We’ll answer all your questions and show you how to comply with wage, tax, and labor laws as a household employer. Or, if you’re ready to have GTM Payroll Services handle it all for you, get started our nanny payroll and tax service.

Download The Complete Guide to Household Payroll

Get our complimentary guide and learn everything you need to know about paying your employees legally and filing your taxes the right way.

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