Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave guide

What are state paid family and medical leave laws?

State paid family and medical leave laws provide for paid leave from work for eligible employees based on certain qualifying life events, such as the birth or adoption of a child, to care for oneself or a family member who is experiencing a serious medical condition, or to care for a family member injured while on active duty in the military, among others. Employees receive a weekly benefit which represents a portion of their regular compensation based upon a state created formula.

We’ve compiled a review of Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave to ensure you’re aware of key upcoming dates and the requirements to ensure your compliance.

Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave

*Effective January 1, 2022: employer and employee contributions to Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI) program will begin.
*Starting January 1, 2023: benefits available to eligible employees under the PFMLI program will become payable.

PLEASE NOTE: The PFMLI program and the rules governing the administration of the program are still being developed. Program rules are anticipated for September 1, 2021. Employers can review the legislation here.

The PFMLI program will be funded by both employer and employee contributions, with employee contributions via payroll deduction equaling 60% of the total required contribution amount set by Oregon’s Employment Department. Employers with 25 or more employees will be required to contribute the remaining 40% of the premium. Employers with less than 25 employees are not required to pay the 40% contribution amount. A small employer who voluntarily contributes the 40% employer obligation is eligible to receive certain assistance grants provided by the state.

Employees must have earned at least $1,000.00 or more in the year prior to the filing of their claim under the program in order to receive benefits.

Under the PFMLI program, employees can take up to 12 weeks in a benefit year to:

  • Bond with a child during the first year after birth, adoption, or foster placement.
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition.
  • Care for an employee’s own serious health condition.
  • Take safe leave if the employee is experiencing issues related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking.

An employee may be entitled to take an additional 4 to 6 weeks of leave, some of which may be paid, in limited circumstances.

Eligible employees will be entitled to a weekly benefit payment based on their average weekly wage, up to a possible maximum of 100% of their average weekly wage.

Employers are required to participate in the PFMLI program unless they have an approved equivalent plan, which cannot exceed what employees would be required to pay under the state program. An employer may, but is not required, to deduct contributions from employees towards the cost of the plan.

Employers should periodically review Oregon’s PFMLI website for further information and updates as they develop.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Employers should closely monitor the rules and regulations specific to their jurisdiction(s) and should seek advice from counsel relative to their rights and responsibilities.

By Megan Butz
General Counsel, HR Compliance, Checkwriters
Megan joined Checkwriters in 2020 and is responsible for reviewing, revising, and implementing internal policies of the company, advising on human resource, employment, and labor matters, and monitoring and publishing state and federal legal updates to the Checkwriters News and Compliance Center for distribution to thousands of clients around the country. Before joining Checkwriters, Megan served as a judicial law clerk for the justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court performing legal research and writing, followed by private practice in Cape Cod.

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