Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI), which was scheduled to begin contributions on January 1, 2022, has been delayed due to reallocation of resources to address the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI) and Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)

What is the Update?

Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI) – Paid Leave Oregon

The new program is now slated to begin employer and employee contributions in January 1, 2023, and benefits will begin being paid out by the state on September 1, 2023.  

The program facts are as follows:

  • The Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI) will be referred to as Paid Leave Oregon (PLO).
  • The total contribution rate for PLO is 1% (capped at the social security taxable wage limit). Employees will be responsible for 60% of the contribution and employers the remaining 40% (employers may also pay the employee portion fully if they wish). Employers with less than 25 employees are exempt from paying the employer share.
  • Amount of Leave: 12 weeks of paid leave (up to 2 additional weeks if pregnancy-related disability, and an additional 4 weeks of unpaid leave).
  • The maximum weekly benefit will be based on the employee’s average weekly wage and is currently set to be capped at 120% of the state’s average weekly wage when benefits begin in September 2023.
  • It is expected that this law will provide job protection for those who were employed by the employer for at least 90 days before taking leave.

A new leave reason was made available for employees under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) as of January 1, 2022. OFLA generally provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of leave within a one-year period to use for specified qualifying purposes. In September 2020, OFLA extended the rules to allow employees to use leave under OFLA to care for the employee’s child whose school or place of care has been closed because of a statewide public health emergency. While initially set to expire in March 2021, the change was then extended through the end of 2021 and became permanent effective January 1, 2022. Note: COVID-19 is no longer considered a public health emergency in Oregon, so employees are not presently able to take time off (for the aforementioned leave reasons) due to COVID-19. They may, however, be able to take time off for these reasons under OFLA, if a future public health emergency is declared by the state.

Handbook/Policy Updates

Updates to your company handbook may need to be made if you include Oregon state-specific leave law information.

Notice Requirements

Each employee should get a written notice of the new PFMLI program. The state has not yet created a notice for this purpose.

Larkin Action

The Larkin Company will be keeping our clients updated on the finer details of the law and any obligations, including a reminder on when to take contributions.

Further Company Considerations 

Keep an eye out for updates from The Larkin Company regarding the PFMLI program. We would also recommend staying informed by signing up for the PFMLI newsletter.

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