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Change of wage structure

by Rene
(West Linn, OR)

I have worked for a Toyota dealership for about a year. I receive $9.00 per hour. I was hired to work about 40 hrs per week.

Recently I was told I will have to be at work for 40 hrs but will only be paid for work that can be billed to a customer. Some days I may only do a few oil changes which might only be one hour of billable work in a 8 hour work day.

The wage will stay at $9.00/hour as before. In the past experienced employees could earn more hours per week in pay for the same amout of time working. I was just a oil change technician and do not have as much experience as other employees and will earn much less than I did before.

The service department currently is very slow, there are very few customers with cars needing service.

I know I will earn much less money with this "promotion".

I was wondering if I could qualify to receive unemployment if I quit and look for new employment.

Hi Rene,


I'd call that a substantial change to the hiring agreement.

All that I could find in Oregon's statutes is that you're disqualified if you quit without good cause. They do not have a statute specific to any reason that clearly defines what is considered good cause for your situation.

But I did find some decision notes on what does constitute some reasons for good cause to quit:

Good cause

Good cause for leaving employment exists when external pressures are so compelling that a reasonably prudent person, exercising ordinary common sense and prudence, would be justified in quitting work under similar circumstances. Stevenson v. Morgan, 17 Or App 428, 522 P2d 1204 (1974)

“Good cause” refers only to cause which is objectively related to employment rather than arising solely from the employee’s personal life. Arias v. Employment Div., 26 Or App 841, 554 P2d 538 (1976)

Whether “good cause” may include personal reasons is value judgment entrusted to division. Sothras v. Employment Div. 48 Or App 69, 616 P2d 524 (1980)

In determining whether petitioner had good cause to leave his employment, consideration must be given to suitable work factors of ORS 657.190. Ruiz v. Employment Division, 83 Or App 609, 733 P2d 51 (1987)

EAB could conclude that if employer
lacks reasonable grounds for believing particular employee is impaired, that individual has good cause for quitting work rather than submit to drug test. Redman Homes, Inc. v. Employment Div., 97 Or App 653, 777 P2d 414 (1989)

Where Employment Appeals Board concluded that claimant had voluntarily left work with good cause and failed to explain why its findings did not lead to conclusion that claimant was able to perform her job when her employer was willing to accommodate her condition, EAB failed to state clearly and precisely what it finds to be facts and why those facts rationally lead to decision it makes. Douglas County v. Employment Div., 99 Or App 625, 783 P2d 1019 (1989)

Alternatives to leaving work are considered as part of determination of whether claimant left work without good cause under this section not suitability of work under ORS 657.190. Douglas County v. Employment Div., 99 Or App 625, 783 P2d 1019 (1989)

In deciding if claimant left work without good cause, division is not limited to considering separation from last employer but may review whether separation from prior employer is disqualifying act if claimant has not yet earned four times her weekly benefit amount. Employment Div. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 102 Or App 490, 794 P2d 828 (1990)

Where Employment Appeals Board failed to explain change in finding concerning credibility of claimant and failed to consider whether employer’s offer violated minimum wage law, EAB erred in concluding that claimant had refused offer of suitable work without good cause. Newman v. Employment Div., 109 Or App 164, 818 P2d 960 (1991)

Before determining that employee failed to consider reasonable alternatives, Employment Appeals Board must make finding that reasonable alternatives existed. Fisher v. Employment Dept., 139 Or App 320, 911 P2d 975 (1996)

In determining whether claimant had “good cause” for voluntarily leaving work, circumstances existing from date of resignation to date of separation from employment are relevant. Ponder v. Employment Dept., 171 Or App 435, 15 P3d 602 (2000)

Where victim of domestic violence gave notice prior to leaving employment, whether victim believed reasonable alternatives to leaving employment existed was determined as of date employment ended, not date victim gave notice. Constantine v. Employment Department, 200 Or App 677, 117 P3d 279 (2005)

You can read for yourself here:

and this website:

Good Luck,


Comments for Change of wage structure

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Dec 26, 2008
Minimum Wage Violation in Oregon?
by: Anonymous

Could there be a violation of minimum wage law if an employer requires someone to be at the job site for 8 hrs a day but only pays him or her for accomplished jobs?

That's a possibility, but something that would best be answered by an attorney, in fact maybe you should consider law as a career...instead of the automotive industry!! I didn't think of it, but I think your point is valid and definitely worth following up with an attorney.

Is it a possibility that you could demonstrate the decrease in pay by applying the new wage structure to your most recent pay period?

The way I read the Decision notes on good cause for unemployment, leads me to believe that Oregon will find you left the job voluntarily with good cause because what had been "suitable" employment became unsuitable due to the action of the employer.

Please let us know what you find out. I'm sure it will be beneficial to any one else who finds themselves in a similar situation in Oregon.


I know that some automotive businesses are altering the pay structure for service writers of late, but this is the first time I've heard that they are trying it out on technicians.

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