Financial Incentives for Employers

Oregon Employment Department

The Oregon Employment Department offers several types of financial hiring incentives to employers. These programs are operated by different departments within employment department administration. The following describes two of these programs; the federal bonding program and the work opportunity tax credit.

Federal Bonding Program

The Oregon Employment Department is again participating in the Federal Bonding Program. Employers receive $5,000 fidelity bonds free of charge as an incentive to hire hard-to-place job applicants. This program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, has a 99 percent success rate nationwide, as only one percent of over 40,000 workers receiving bonds proved to be dishonest.

What is Federal Bonding?

  • A job placement tool
  • Fidelity insurance through the McLaughlin Company, an agent for Travelers Insurance Company
  • Protects employers against employee theft or dishonesty
  • $5,000 coverage for a 6-month period (no deductible)

Types of Workers Covered

At risk job applicants denied (or potentially denied) commercial bonding due to:

  • Arrest, conviction or imprisonment
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Poor credit history
  • No employment history
  • Dishonorable discharge from the military
  • Any other reason that makes the job seeker “Not Bondable”

Based on the information received, the Oregon Bonding Coordinator will make the call on whether a job seeker is “Not Bondable.” The hiring company is not required to first attempt to bond the job seeker through their normal commercial bonding process.

The Bond 

  • Free of charge to job seeker and employer
  • Covers theft, forgery, larceny, or embezzlement
  • Does not cover poor workmanship, injuries or accidents 

Requirements for Coverage 

  • Firm job offer (with start date) contingent on receiving the bond
  • Full-time or part-time job
  • Job has employer-employee relationship with federal taxes automatically deducted
  • Permanent job (job expected to last at least 6 months)
  • Not self-employment or an independent contractor

Application Process 

  • The bonds will be processed by Oregon’s Federal Bonding Coordinator, an employee of the Oregon Employment Department
  • Contact the Bonding Coordinator when you have a job seeker with a firm job offer contingent upon receiving a fidelity bond
  • The Bonding Coordinator will ask for some basic information about the job seeker, employer, and job
  • If requirements are met, the Bonding Coordinator will complete the Fidelity Bond Certification Form and mail it to the McLaughlin Company
  • The Bonding Coordinator will also send a confirmation letter to employer
  • The bond is effective the day the job seeker starts work (The start date is entered on both the certification form and the employer confirmation letter)
  • The McLaughlin Company will mail the actual Bond Certificate to the employer within 15 working days
  • Neither the employer nor job seeker need to fill out any paperwork

For questions contact:

Doug Barrett (Oregon’s Federal Bonding Coordinator)
Oregon Employment Department
875 Union St NE
Salem, OR 97311
503 947-1680
503 947-1668 Fax

More information is available at the Federal Bonding website for Oregon:

The Federal Bonding Program PPT presentation


Work Opportunity Tax Credit

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What is WOTC?

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a Federal tax credit, and it is designed as an incentive for businesses to hire individuals that consistently face significant barriers to employment. WOTC joins other workforce programs that incentivize workplace diversity and facilitate access to good jobs for American workers.

What does WOTC do?

WOTC helps targeted workers move from economic dependency into self-sufficiency as they earn a steady income and become contributing taxpayers while participating employers are able to reduce their income tax liability. The maximum tax credit ranges from $1,200 to $9,600, depending on the employee hired.

Employers can hire eligible employees from the following target groups for WOTC:

More information on the WOTC is available here: