Last Updated: 07/31/2023
Oregon Family and Medical Leave Programs
What is the Update?
Paid Leave Oregon (OR PLO) – New paid family and medical leave program
Employees will be able to access benefits under the program effective September 3, 2023, and the benefits (leave and pay) under the program are administered directly by the state. It is expected that employees will be able to file online (or via mail) with the state in August 2023 (exact date to be determined). We will provide an update once the application process is open. When the program is live, employees may apply for PLO benefts up to 30 days prior to their leave start date, but not more than 30 days after their leave begins.
Employees can receive up to 65% of their average weekly wage, up to $1,523.63 per week. The maximum weekly benefit will update in July 2023. We will keep ourclients posted once the updated maximum weekly benefit is confirmed by the state.
Amount of OR PLO Leave: 12 weeks of leave (up to 2 additional weeks for pregnancy-related disability) for parental, family care, medical (including pregnancydisability), and safe (e.g. domestic violence) leave. Employees are eligible for leave if they have earned at least $1,000 in wages with any OR employer(s) during theyear prior to the leave. Their leave is job protected if they have worked for their current employer for 90 consecutive days prior to their leave.
Employer and employee contributions began effective January 1, 2023 for the new Paid Leave Oregon (OR PLO) program. The total contribution rate is 1% (capped at a wage limit of $132,900 – changing in September see below). Employees are 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 (in the US) are exempt from paying the employer share. The Oregon Employment Department (OED) debuted “Frances Online,” a new system for employee contributions as of September 2022, which now supports both Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon contributions. Wages/Contributions are due at the end of every quarter.
Oregon also has an unpaid family and medical leave law, the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), which has been active in the state for many years, and will remain an active law when the OR PLO becomes live in September. OFLA is administered directly by employers (we administer this on our client’s behalf). OR PLO, OFLA and federal FMLA will run concurrently together, when an employee is eligible for each law.
Based on current state guidance, employees will be capped at a combined amount of paid and unpaid leave under PLO and OFLA of not more than 16 weeks of leave (or 18 weeks for certain pregnancy related conditions). This means, for example, that birthing parents who could previously take up to 12 weeks of pregnancy disability leave under OFLA, followed by 12 weeks of parental leave under OFLA (i.e. up 24 weeks total), are now capped at 16 weeks of leave total between OFLA (federal FMLA) and OR PLO (or 18 weeks if they have pregnancy complications) when OR PLO goes live from September 3, 2023. The first 12 weeks of leave, for example, are being covered under OFLA, OR PLO, and FMLA (federal FMLA and OR PLO exhausts after 12 weeks), where employees are eligible for each law, and then up to 4 weeks under OFLA only. The state may produce more guidance on this topic in the future; we will continue to monitor any updates.
An employee is permitted (with mutual consent from the employer) to use vacation/PTO while on paid leave. STD and salary continuation (company leave of absence pay) may be coordinated with OR PLO benefits, up to an employees regular pay.
(Update 07/12/23, Effective Immediately): An Employee Guidebook for OR PLO is now available from the state. This can be found in the “Resources” section below, along with a link to the Employer Guidebook.
(Update 07/31/23, Effective 09/24/23): A new bill has been enacted. Yearly premium contributions for OR PLO are presently capped at $132,900. However, contributions will be capped at the Social Security Wage Base, effective 09/24/23. Further, the rules regarding PTO usage will be amended. Originally, employees were permitted to use their PTO to supplement their OR PLO benefit up to their state determined average weekly wage (AWW). Employees will now be able to use their PTO while on leave (with employer permission), even if the combination of PTO and OR PLO benefits, is more than their state determined AWW. This allows employees who have been deemed to have a lower state determined AWW (such as those who only have a few months of wages in the state), to supplement their weekly PLO benefit with PTO to get them to 100% of their actual salary.
The department released the model notice for PLO. This notice must be displayed in the workplace (and provided via email or mail to Oregon employees who work remotely). Thereafter, it must be provided to new hires and those assigned to work remotely in Oregon, who were not already informed of the law at the time of hire (such as employees who relocate from another state to work remotely in Oregon). Click here to view the model notice.
The Larkin Company will consider any law changes carefully, and update our internal resources and processes, as well as our employee leave information packets, if necessary. We will continue to monitor any updates regarding the laws and will keep our clients updated.
Further Company Considerations
Adjust your contributions in line with the updates, effective 2023. Additionally, keep an eye out for The Larkin Company updates regarding the PLO program. We also recommend signing up for the state newsletter, here.
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