Oregon

Below you will find any recent or upcoming changes to the family and medical leave and/or leave income replacement benefit law(s) within this state.

Last Updated: 03/22/2024

Oregon Family and Medical Leave Programs

What is the Update?

Paid Leave Oregon (OR PLO)
As of September 3, 2023, employees are able to access PLO benefits, administered directly by the state.

Currently, 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 2024. OR PLO provides up to 12 weeks of leave (up to 2 additional weeks for pregnancy-related disability) for parental, family care, medical (including pregnancy disability), 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 the year 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. Additionally, an employee is permitted (with mutual consent from the employer) to use vacation/PTO while on paid leave, but not to exceed an employee’s full wage. STD and salary continuation (company leave of absence pay) may be coordinated with OR PLO benefits, up to an employee’s regular pay.

The employer and employee total contribution rate is 1% (capped at the Social Security Wage Base, as of 09/24/23). 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 Family Leave Act (OFLA)
Oregon also has an unpaid family and medical leave law, the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA). 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. Currently, employees are 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), however this may change soon as a result of Senate Bill 1515 if approved (see our update below).

Update (03/19/24, Effective 03/02/24): Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries recently approved rules to amend OFLA. Here are top features of the final rules:

  • The definition for a relationship by “affinity” was clarified. Additionally, if an employee requests sick time to care for a family member related by affinity, employers are allowed to provide the employee with an attestation form so the employee can attest to the family-like relationship.
  • The definition of a “serious health condition” under OFLA now also includes pregnancy termination, and fertility or infertility treatments.
  • If an employee is denied under PLO, the denial does not become a basis for an employer to also deny OFLA leave. Employers have an independent responsibility to determine OFLA eligibility.
  • While calculating the average hours an employee has worked per week to determine an employee’s eligibility under OFLA, these hours can now include any hours of protected leave taken, including OFLA leave, as well as hours actually worked.
  • Employers will need to update their OFLA leave year to be “measured forward” by July 1, 2024, if not already tracking leave with this method. The rules also state that if an employer transitions to the “measured forward” method, then all OFLA-eligible employees must be provided a full benefit year of leave as of the first day of the new OFLA leave year (i.e., by July 1, 2024). Employers who already track OFLA as measured forward will not be affected by this change.
  • If an employer requires the employee to present verification from a health care provider of their work clearance upon their return from OFLA leave for their own medical condition, the employer must pay for this return-to-work clearance. The rules require that this policy should be uniformly applied to all return-to-work verifications, so this would mean even for employees who did not use protected leave.

Additionally, there is another approved bill, Senate Bill 1515, which was signed by Governor Kotek on March 20, 2024. The following changes to OFLA and PLO will occur, beginning July 1, 2024.

  • OFLA and PLO will not be allowed to be taken concurrently, rather, OFLA will be in addition to any leave under PLO. PLO will still be able to run concurrently with the federal FMLA.
  • Leave reasons under OFLA will no longer include parental bonding, family care, or medical leave. OFLA will continue to apply for leave reasons such as pregnancy disability, bereavement, sick child leave, and leave to care for a child of the employee or their spouse due to the closure of the child’s school or child care provider as a result of a public health emergency.
  • Sick child leave will now include care for a child who is suffering from an illness, injury, or condition that is not a serious health condition, but still requires home care.
  • Bereavement leave will be reduced from 12 weeks to 4 weeks maximum within a 12-month period, still allowing 2 weeks per family member.
  • An employee will now be permitted to utilize PTO concurrently with PLO, so long as the combined amount of PTO and PLO benefits do not exceed their regular wage. Currently, PTO usage is permitted with mutual consent from the employer to supplement PLO.
  • Also under this bill, but effective January 1, 2025, family leave under PLO will now include leave to effectuate the legal process required for placement of a foster child or adoption. Due to this not being available under PLO until January 1, 2025, OFLA will instead cover this leave reason during the period of July 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024.

Handbook/Policy Updates

If you provide information relating to OFLA leave within your handbook or leave policies, it may be necessary to review and revise your procedures to align with the final rules’ requirements.

Notice Requirements

The PLO model 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.

Larkin Action

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.

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Disclaimer

The Larkin Company has taken reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind as to its accuracy or completeness. These resources should not be construed or substituted for legal advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information provided herein, we encourage you to seek competent legal advice from a licensed attorney or appropriate professionals.