Oregon Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Overview

It’s easy to file and manage your Oregon bond claims with zlien, the industry’s only all-in-one bond claim and security rights management platform. Get complete control over your bond claim rights on a state, county, or municipal project, by using intelligent technology. To learn more about Oregon’s bond claim laws and requirements, read the frequently asked questions below.

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Oregon

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Oregon

Bond Claim Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Oregon

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Oregon

Bond Claim Deadlines
180 Days

Must file Notice of Claim within 180 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials to the project, and enforce notice within 2 years of last furnishing labor/materials.

Oregon

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Oregon

Bond Claim Deadlines
180 Days

Must file Notice of Claim within 180 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials to the project, and enforce notice within 2 years of last furnishing labor/materials.

Oregon Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) FAQs

Oregon Bond Claim FAQs

Who Is Protected under Oregon Bond Claim Laws?

Under Oregon law, any person who has supplied labor or materials for the performance of the work provided for in a public contract, including any person having a direct contractual relationship with the subcontractor, or an assignee of such person, or a person claiming monies due with the performance of the contract, is protected. The claimant must have not been paid in full.

When is the Deadline to File a Oregon Bond Claim?

A bond claim in Oregon must be sent to the required parties within 180 days after the claimant last furnished labor and/or materials to the project. The time period is lengthened slightly to 200 days for contributions to an employee benefit plan. The specific wording of the statute seems to hold that sending the claim timely is sufficient, but it may be advisable to attempt to ensure the necessary parties receive the claim prior to the expiration of the 180-day period.

Who Should Receive the Oregon Bond Claim?

In Oregon, the claimant’s bond claim must be given to the contractor supplying the bond, the hiring subcontractor (if applicable), and to the contracting public entity. Note that the contracting public entity may or may not be the same as the where the work is being performed.

When is the Deadline to Initiate Suit, or, How Long is My Oregon Bond Claim Effective?

A suit to enforce the bond claim on a public project in Oregon must be initiated within 2 years from the claimant’s last furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project. Note that the claimant may be required to wait 6 months from requesting payment from the surety in order to recover attorney’s fees.

What Must the Oregon Bond Claim Include?

In Oregon, a bond claim must include the name of the claimant, a description of the labor and/or materials furnished to the project, the amount of the claim, the name of the general contractor supplying the bond, the hiring party, the surety (if known), and a description of the project.

What Are the Lien Waiver Rules?

Oregon does not have statutory lien waiver forms, and therefore, you can use any lien waiver forms. Since lien waivers are unregulated, be careful when reviewing and signing lien waivers. See this article: Should You Sign That Lien Waiver?.

Oregon state law is unclear or silent about whether contractors and suppliers can waive their lien rights before any work on the project begins. Accordingly, you want to proceed with caution on this subject. You can learn more about such “no lien clauses” at this article: Where Can You Waive Your Lien Rights Before Payment?

Can Suppliers to Suppliers File Bond Claims?

No, suppliers to suppliers likely cannot file a bond claim in Oregon.

How Must the Oregon Bond Claim Be Sent?

A bond claim in Oregon must be sent by registered or certified mail, or hand delivered.

Oregon Public Project Preliminary Notice FAQs

Do I Need to Send a Oregon Preliminary Notice?

No. Oregon does not require preliminary notice to preserve rights on public projects. Any party, however, may send notice if they so desire.

When do I Need to Send a Oregon Preliminary Notice?

N/A

What if I Send the Oregon Preliminary Notice Late?

N/A

How Should the Oregon Preliminary Notice be Sent?

N/A

To Whom Must the Oregon Preliminary Notice be Given?

N/A

Oregon Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Statutes

When you perform work on a state construction project in Oregon, and are not paid, you can file a “lien” against the project pursuant to Oregon’s Little Miller Act. Since the claim is not against the state or county’s actual property, but instead against a posted bond, the claim is not really called a “lien” but is more frequently referred to as a “bond claim” or “little miller act claim.”

Oregon’s Little Miller Act is found in Oregon Revised Statutes Title 26, Chapter 279C, and is reproduced below.

Oregon Little Miller Act

279C.380 Performance bond; payment bond; waiver of bonds.

(1) Except as provided in ORS 279C.390, a successful bidder for a public improvement contract shall promptly execute and deliver to the contracting agency the following bonds:

(a) A performance bond in an amount equal to the full contract price conditioned on the faithful performance of the contract in accordance with the plans, specifications and conditions of the contract. The performance bond must be solely for the protection of the contracting agency that awarded the contract and any public agency or agencies for whose benefit the contract was awarded. If the public improvement contract is with a single person to provide both design and construction of a public improvement, the obligation of the performance bond for the faithful performance of the contract required by this paragraph must also be for the preparation and completion of the design and related services covered under the contract. Notwithstanding when a cause of action, claim or demand accrues or arises, the surety is not liable after final completion of the contract, or longer if provided for in the contract, for damages of any nature, economic or otherwise and including corrective work, attributable to the design aspect of a design-build project, or for the costs of design revisions needed to implement corrective work. A contracting agency may waive the requirement of a performance bond. A contracting agency may permit the successful bidder to submit a cashier’s check or certified check in lieu of all or a portion of the required performance bond.

(b) A payment bond in an amount equal to the full contract price, solely for the protection of claimants under ORS 279C.600.

(2) If the public improvement contract is with a single person to provide construction manager and general contractor services, in which a guaranteed maximum price may be established by an amendment authorizing construction period services following preconstruction period services, the contractor shall provide the bonds required by subsection (1) of this section upon execution of an amendment establishing the guaranteed maximum price. The contracting agency shall also require the contractor to provide bonds equal to the value of construction services authorized by any early work amendment in advance of the guaranteed maximum price amendment. Such bonds must be provided before construction starts.

(3) Each performance bond and each payment bond must be executed solely by a surety company or companies holding a certificate of authority to transact surety business in this state. The bonds may not constitute the surety obligation of an individual or individuals. The performance and payment bonds must be payable to the contracting agency or to the public agency or agencies for whose benefit the contract was awarded, as specified in the solicitation documents, and shall be in a form approved by the contracting agency.

(4) In cases of emergency, or when the interest or property of the contracting agency or the public agency or agencies for whose benefit the contract was awarded probably would suffer material injury by delay or other cause, the requirement of furnishing a good and sufficient performance bond and a good and sufficient payment bond for the faithful performance of any public improvement contract may be excused, if a declaration of such emergency is made in accordance with rules adopted under ORS 279A.065.

(5) This section applies only to public improvement contracts with a value, estimated by the contracting agency, of more than $100,000 or, in the case of contracts for highways, bridges and other transportation projects, more than $50,000.

279C.385 Return or retention of bid security.

(1) A contracting agency shall return the bid security of the successful bidder to the bidder after the bidder:

(a) Executes the public improvement contract; and

(b) Delivers a good and sufficient performance bond, a good and sufficient payment bond and any required proof of insurance.

(2) A bidder who is awarded a contract and who fails promptly and properly to execute the contract and to deliver the performance bond, the payment bond and the proof of insurance, when bonds or insurance are required, shall forfeit the bid security that accompanied the successful bid. The bid security shall be taken and considered as liquidated damages and not as a penalty for failure of the bidder to execute the contract and deliver the bonds and proof of insurance.

(3) The contracting agency may return the bid security of unsuccessful bidders to them when the bids have been opened and the contract has been awarded, and may not retain the bid security after the contract has been duly signed.

279C.390 Exemption of contracts from bid security and bonds.

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the Director of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, a state contracting agency with procurement authority under ORS 279A.050, a local contract review board or, for contracts described in ORS 279A.050 (3)(b), the Director of Transportation may exempt certain contracts or classes of contracts from all or a portion of the requirement for bid security and from all or a portion of the requirement that good and sufficient bonds be furnished to ensure performance of the contract and payment of obligations incurred in the performance.

(2) The contracting agency may require bid security and a good and sufficient performance bond, a good and sufficient payment bond, or any combination of such bonds, even though the public improvement contract is of a class exempted under subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The Director of Transportation may:

(a) Exempt contracts or classes of contracts financed from the proceeds of bonds issued under ORS 367.620 (3)(a) from the requirement for bid security and from the requirement that a good and sufficient bond be furnished to ensure performance of the contract; or

(b) Reduce the amount of the required performance bond for contracts or classes of contracts financed from the proceeds of the bonds issued under ORS 367.620 (3)(a) to less than 100 percent of the contract price.

(4) Any recoverable damages that exceed the amount of the performance bond required under subsection (3) of this section shall be the sole responsibility of the Department of Transportation.

279C.515 Conditions concerning payment of claims by public officers, payment to persons furnishing labor or materials and complaints.

(1) Every public improvement contract shall contain a clause or condition that, if the contractor fails, neglects or refuses to make prompt payment of any claim for labor or services furnished to the contractor or a subcontractor by any person in connection with the public improvement contract as the claim becomes due, the proper officer or officers representing the state or a county, school district, municipality, municipal corporation or subdivision thereof, as the case may be, may pay such claim to the person furnishing the labor or services and charge the amount of the payment against funds due or to become due the contractor by reason of the contract.

(2) Every public improvement contract shall contain a clause or condition that, if the contractor or a first-tier subcontractor fails, neglects or refuses to make payment to a person furnishing labor or materials in connection with the public improvement contract within 30 days after receipt of payment from the contracting agency or a contractor, the contractor or first-tier subcontractor shall owe the person the amount due plus interest charges commencing at the end of the 10-day period that payment is due under ORS 279C.580 (4) and ending upon final payment, unless payment is subject to a good faith dispute as defined in ORS 279C.580. The rate of interest charged to the contractor or first-tier subcontractor on the amount due shall equal three times the discount rate on 90-day commercial paper in effect at the Federal Reserve Bank in the Federal Reserve district that includes Oregon on the date that is 30 days after the date when payment was received from the contracting agency or from the contractor, but the rate of interest may not exceed 30 percent. The amount of interest may not be waived.

(3) Every public improvement contract and every contract related to the public improvement contract shall contain a clause or condition that, if the contractor or a subcontractor fails, neglects or refuses to make payment to a person furnishing labor or materials in connection with the public improvement contract, the person may file a complaint with the Construction Contractors Board, unless payment is subject to a good faith dispute as defined in ORS 279C.580.

(4) The payment of a claim in the manner authorized in this section does not relieve the contractor or the contractor’s surety from obligation with respect to any unpaid claims.

279C.600 Right of action on payment bond or public works bond of contractor or subcontractor; notice of claim.

(1) A person claiming to have supplied labor or materials for the performance of the work provided for in a public contract, including any person having a direct contractual relationship with the contractor furnishing the payment bond or a direct contractual relationship with any subcontractor, or an assignee of such person, or a person claiming moneys due the State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation, the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund or the Department of Revenue in connection with the performance of the contract, has a right of action on the contractor’s payment bond as provided for in ORS 279C.380 and 279C.400 only if:

(a) The person or the assignee of the person has not been paid in full; and

(b) The person gives written notice of claim, as prescribed in ORS 279C.605, to the contractor and the contracting agency.

(2) When, upon investigation, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries has received information indicating that one or more workers providing labor on a public works have not been paid in full at the prevailing rate of wage or overtime wages, the commissioner has a right of action first on the contractor’s public works bond required under ORS 279C.836 and then, for any amount of a claim not satisfied by the public works bond, on the contractor’s payment bond, as provided in ORS 279C.380 and 279C.400. When an investigation indicates that a subcontractor’s workers have not been paid in full at the prevailing rate of wage or overtime wages, the commissioner has a right of action first on the subcontractor’s public works bond and then, for any amount of a claim not satisfied by the subcontractor’s public works bond, on the contractor’s payment bond. The commissioner’s right of action exists without necessity of an assignment and extends to workers on the project who are not identified when the written notice of claim is given, but for whom the commissioner has received information indicating that the workers have provided labor on the public works and have not been paid in full. The commissioner shall give written notice of the claim, as prescribed in ORS 279C.605, to the contracting agency, the Construction Contractors Board, the contractor and, if applicable, the subcontractor. The commissioner may not make a claim for the same unpaid wages against more than one bond under this section.

279C.605 Notice of claim.

(1) The notice of claim required by ORS 279C.600 must be sent by registered or certified mail or hand delivered no later than 180 days after the day the person last provided labor or furnished materials or 180 days after the worker listed in the notice of claim by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries last provided labor. The notice may be sent or delivered to the contractor or subcontractor at any place the contractor or subcontractor maintains an office or conducts business or at the residence of the contractor or subcontractor.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if the claim is for a required contribution to a fund of an employee benefit plan, the notice required by ORS 279C.600 must be sent or delivered within 200 days after the employee last provided labor or materials.

(3) The notice must be in writing substantially as follows:______________________________________________________________________________ To (here insert the name of the contractor or subcontractor and the name of the public body): Notice hereby is given that the undersigned (here insert the name of the claimant) has a claim for (here insert a brief description of the labor or materials performed or furnished and the person by whom performed or furnished; if the claim is for other than labor or materials, insert a brief description of the claim) in the sum of (here insert the amount) dollars against the (here insert public works bond or payment bond, as applicable) taken from (here insert the name of the principal and, if known, the surety or sureties upon the public works bond or payment bond) for the work of (here insert a brief description of the work concerning which the public works bond or payment bond was taken). Such material or labor was supplied to (here insert the name of the contractor or subcontractor)._____________________ (here to be signed)______________________________________________________________________________

(4) When notice of claim is given by the commissioner and if the claim includes a worker who is then unidentified, the commissioner shall include in the notice a statement that the claim includes an unidentified worker for whom the commissioner has received information indicating that the worker has not been paid in full at the prevailing rate of wage required by ORS 279C.840 or overtime wages required by ORS 279C.540.

(5) The person making the claim or giving the notice shall sign the notice.

279C.610 Action on contractor’s public works bond or payment bond; time limitation.

(1) The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries or a person who has a right of action on the public works bond or the payment bond under ORS 279C.600 and, where required, who has filed and served the notice or notices of claim, as required under ORS 279C.600 and 279C.605, or that person’s assignee, may institute an action on the contractor’s public works bond or payment bond in a circuit court of this state or the federal district court of the district.

(2) The action shall be on the relation of the commissioner, the claimant, or that person’s assignee, as the case may be, and shall be in the name of the contracting agency that let the contract or, when applicable, the public agency or agencies for whose benefit the contract was let. It may be prosecuted to final judgment and execution for the use and benefit of the commissioner or the claimant, or that person’s assignee, as the fact may appear.

(3) The action shall be instituted no later than two years after the person last provided labor or materials or two years after the worker listed in the commissioner’s notice of claim last provided labor.

279C.615 Preference for labor and material liens.

All labor and material liens have preference and are superior to all other liens and claims of any kind or nature created by ORS 279C.500 to 279C.530 and 279C.600 to 279C.625.

279C.620 Rights of person providing medical care to employees of contractor.

A person providing medical, surgical or hospital care services or other needed care and attention, incident to sickness or injury, to the employees of a contractor or subcontractor on a public contract is deemed to have performed labor on the public contract for the purposes of ORS 279C.600 to 279C.625.

279C.625 Joint liability when payment bond not executed.

If the public improvement contract is one for which a payment bond as provided for in ORS 279C.380 and 279C.400 is required and the contractor fails to pay for labor or materials or to pay claims due the Industrial Accident Fund, the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund or the Department of Revenue and the officers of the public body that authorized the contract fail or neglect to require the person entering into the contract to execute the payment bond:

(1) The State of Oregon and the officers authorizing the contract shall be jointly liable for the labor and materials used in the performance of any work under the contract, and for claims due the Industrial Accident Fund, the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund and the Department of Revenue, if the contract was entered into with the State of Oregon.

(2) The public body and the officers authorizing the contract shall be jointly liable for the labor and materials used in the performance of any work under the contract and for claims due the Industrial Accident Fund, the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund and the Department of Revenue, if the contract was entered into on behalf of a public body other than the state.