Oregon is preparing to roll out its much-anticipated paid family and medical leave program called Paid Leave Oregon. The program, which was delayed for a year partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will require employee and employer contributions to start on January 1, 2023. Employees can apply for benefits beginning on September 3, 2023.
Paid Leave Oregon will allow employees to take paid time off for their own or a family member’s serious health condition, bonding with a new child, and issues related to domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or harassment. Employees can take up to 12 weeks of leave for any qualifying reasons unless it is pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical circumstance—for those reasons, an employee can take up to 14 weeks of leave. Employees may take an additional four weeks of unpaid leave for a condition covered by the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA).
Employees can take the time continuously or intermittently, but the leave increment cannot be smaller than a full workday. Employees have job restoration protections once they have worked for their employer for 90 days. Employers must also provide continuation of health care benefits while the employee is on leave under this program.
Paid Leave Oregon applies to employers that employ one or more employees working anywhere in Oregon State except for the federal government and tribal governments. Employees who earned $1,000 or more in the base year (the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters) or the alternate base year (the last four completed calendar quarters) before claiming their benefit are eligible to apply for benefits. Further, the employee must perform their work primarily in Oregon State. The term “employee,” as defined under the law, excludes independent contractors, certain work-study program participants, participants in a work training program administered under a state or federal assistance program, railroad workers exempted under the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, and volunteers.
The 2023 contribution rate is 1% of employee wages, up to $132,900. Employees will pay 60% of the required contribution, and employers will pay 40% of the contribution. Employers with fewer than 25 employees are not required to pay the 40% employer contribution; however, they must still withhold and remit the employee portion of the contribution to the Oregon Employment Department with their payroll reports.
Employers may elect to offer an equivalent plan with equal or better benefits and leave durations than provided through the state’s program. Employers that wish to elect an equivalent plan must apply to the Oregon Employment Department.
Eligible Archbright members are encouraged to contact the HR Hotline with any questions concerning Paid Leave Oregon.
Get unlimited access to the HR & Safety Hotlines with an Archbright membership. Call or email us as many times as you need to, every weekday from 8am to 5pm, for real-world advice, resources, and a plan of action for the issues facing your workplace.
Whether you need guidance through a complex situation, answers to specific questions, or a trusted colleague to talk through an issue, we are here to help.