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Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries

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Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industry
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2013 FY Budget:  $23,620,844
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Oregon Statutes, Chapter 651, Section 651
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Brad Avakian.jpg
Name:  Brad Avakian
Assumed office:  April 8, 2008
Compensation:  $77,000
Next election:  2018
Last election:  May 20, 2014
Other Oregon Executive Offices
GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries is a nonpartisan, elected state executive position in the Oregon state government. Commissioners serve a term of four years. The position was created by the Oregon Legislature in 1903. It became nonpartisan in 1995.[1]

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Brad Avakian. He was appointed to the office in April 2008, won a full term in November 2008, and was re-elected in 2012 and 2014.[2][3]


The Oregon State Legislature created the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspector of Factories and Workshops in 1903. The head was originally known as the labor commissioner, but was changed to Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspector of Factories and Workshops in 1918. The name was changed again in 1930 to Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and in 1979 to the current Commissioner of Labor and Industries. The office was made nonpartisan by the Legislature in 1995.[4]


Chapter 651, Section 651.030 of the Oregon Statutes establishes the qualifications of office as such:[5]

The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries shall be a citizen of this state who has been a resident of this state for over five years.

  • a citizen of Oregon
  • a resident of Oregon for over five years


Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article V, Section 16.

If a vacancy occurs, the governor has the power to fill the vacancy by appointment until a successor is elected and qualified. If the vacancy occurs more than 61 days before a general election, the vacancy will be filled in that election.


The commissioner of labor and industries manages and oversees all programs of the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

On its site the bureau lists four principal duties:[1]

  • 1. protect the rights of workers and citizens to equal, non-discriminatory treatment through the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws that apply to workplaces, housing and public accommodations
  • 2. encourage and enforce compliance with state laws relating to wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment
  • 3. educate and train employers to understand and comply with both wage and hour and civil rights law
  • 4. promote the development of a highly skilled, competitive workforce in Oregon through the apprenticeship program and through partnerships with government, labor, business, and educational institutions.


Oregon state government organizational chart
See also: Oregon down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Beginning in 2014, Oregon elects labor and industries commissioners to four-year terms on mid-term years. For Oregon, 2014 and 2018 are labor and industries commissioner election years.[6] The 2012 election was for a two-year term to offset the office's election cycle.[6]


Avakian won the election without opposition.

Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBrad Avakian Incumbent 98.3% 406,798
     Nonpartisan Write-ins 1.7% 7,153
Total Votes 413,951
Election Results Oregon Secretary of State.

Full History


The Office of the Insurance Commissioner consists of two major divisions - the Technical Assistance for Employers Program and the Hearings Unit. The office also oversees the other three main divisions of the Bureau of Labor and Industries - Civil Rights, Wage and Hour, and Apprenticeship and Training.[1]

Technical Assistance for Employers Program

The Technical Assistance for Employers Program is within the Commissioner's Office. It "provides employers with a telephone information line, informational pamphlets and materials, and seminars and workshops to keep the business community informed about employment law compliance issues."[1]

Hearings Unit

The Hearings Unit is within the Commissioner's Office. It "processes contested cases that result when respondents request a hearing on the result of an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division or Civil Rights Division."[1]

Civil Rights Division

The Civil Rights Division "enforces laws granting individuals equal access to jobs, career schools, promotions, and a work environment free from discrimination and harassment."[1]

Wage and Hour Division

The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for "enforcing laws covering state minimum wage and overtime requirements, working conditions, child labor, farm and forest labor contracting, and wage collection. The division also regulates the employment of workers on public works projects."[1]

Apprenticeship and Training Division

The Apprenticeship and Training Division "regulates apprenticeship in a variety of occupations and trades and works with business, labor, government and education to increase training and employment opportunities."[1]

State budget

See also: Oregon state budget and finances

The budget for the Bureau of Labor and Industries in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $23,620,844.[7]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 292, Section 311 of the Oklahoma Statutes

The commissioner, along with the rest of Oregon's elected executives, is entitled to an annual salary, payable monthly, in accordance with Title 28, Chapter 292, Section 311 (§ 292.311) of the Oregon Statutes. The amount of compensation the commissioner receives is set at $77,000 for the year beginning January 1, 2014, plus $250 per month regularly for miscellaneous, job-related expenses.[8]


In 2014, the commissioner was paid an estimated $77,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[9]


In 2013, the commissioner was paid an estimated $72,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[10]


In 2012, the commissioner was paid an estimated $72,000, according to the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

Since 1903, Oregon has had nine labor commissioners. Prior to the office becoming nonpartisan in 1995, four were Republican and three were Democratic.

Click "show" for former officeholders.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries - Google News Feed

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Contact information

800 NE Oregon St., Suite 1045
Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 971-673-0761
Ore. Relay TTY: 711-
Fax: 971-673-0762

See also

External links

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