November 2022: Oregon’s New Paid Leave to Go into Effect in 2023

02 Nov

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Update Applicable to:
All employers with 25 or more employees anywhere in the world and at least one eligible employee in the state of Oregon.

What happened?
Beginning on January 1, 2023, Oregon’s paid family and medical leave insurance program, known as Paid Leave Oregon, goes into effect.

What are the details?
Employers with twenty-five or more employees anywhere in the world and at least one eligible employee in Oregon—including remote employees—must comply with this law’s requirements.

Paid Leave Oregon is a state-run wage replacement program meant to compensate employees who need to take time off work to care for and bond with a child following the child’s birth or adoption, to recover from a serious health condition, or to take leave if the employee or the employee’s family member has experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or harassment.

Employee Requirements
Employees must be employed to receive benefits and cannot simultaneously receive workers’ compensation and/or unemployment insurance benefits.

Employees in Oregon who have earned at least $1,000 in wages in four out of five quarters before starting leave under Paid Leave Oregon are eligible to apply for paid leave benefits.

Employees employed with an employer for at least ninety days may take job-protected leave under Paid Leave Oregon. Employees may take twelve weeks of paid leave per year.

Where the qualifying reasons for taking leave under Paid Leave Oregon and leave under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) or federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are the same, the leaves will run concurrently up to a maximum of sixteen weeks of combined leave per year, or eighteen weeks if the employee experiences a pregnancy-related disability. Employees may take leave under Paid Leave Oregon intermittently in weekly or daily increments.

Contributions Requirements
Starting January 1, 2023, employees and employers must contribute to the Paid Leave Oregon state fund. Employees will contribute 60 percent, and employers will contribute 40 percent of the total contribution rate determined annually by the Oregon Employment Department (OED), which has a statutory maximum of 1 percent of wages.

Employers may choose to pay contributions for employees and employers as an employee benefit. As of September 3, 2023, employees may begin applying for Paid Leave Oregon benefits.

Notice Requirements
Although some details are still being finalized, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) has issued a model notice poster for employers to inform employees about some of the basics of Paid Leave in Oregon. The notice informs employees about their rights under the program and what is required of them if they take paid leave.

Employers must post this notice poster at each worksite and share it electronically or by mail with remote workers no later than January 1, 2023. Employers must post the notice in a conspicuous place where employees regularly see it. Employers must provide notice in the language they typically use for employee communication. The OED has issued the notice in eleven languages.

For more information, please see the links below:

Paid Leave Oregon Website

Model NoticeAlternate Languages Download

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above, adjust their paid leave policies, prepare to pay into contributions come January 1, 2023, and post the model notice in a conspicuous location for all employees to see.

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