Oregon Paid Family Leave, Part 1

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting about the new Oregon paid family and medical leave law.  The law requires the Director of the Employment Department to establish a family and medical leave insurance program to provide family and medical leave insurance benefits (“FMLB”) to eligible employees.

Who is eligible? To be eligible to receive FMLB, an employee must have earned at least $1,000 during the “base year,” or if an employee has not earned $1,000 during the base year, the employee must have earned $1,000 in an “alternate base year.” “Base year” means the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters preceding the benefit year.  “Alternate base year” means the last four completed calendar quarters preceding the benefit year.

What employers are covered? An employer under the law means any person that employs one or more employees working anywhere in this state.

What can FMLB be used for? FMLB can be used to take for leave for reasons covered by OFLA as well as for “safe leave” as defined in ORS 659A.272. FMLB cannot be used for sick child or bereavement leave under OFLA or for military leave.  Leave taken using FMLB must be taken concurrently with leave taken under OFLA or FMLA. Employees are disqualified from receiving FMLB during any week in which an employee receives workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits.

How much will it cost? The law says: “Contributions shall be paid by employers and employees as a percentage of a total rate determined by the Director of the Employment Department.”  So, right now, we don’t know what it will cost.  We do, however, know:

  • The total rate may not exceed one percent of employee wages, up to a maximum of $132,900 in wages.
  • Employer contributions shall be paid in an amount that is equal to 40 percent of the total rate determined by the director.
  • An employer shall deduct employee contributions from the wages of each employee in an amount that is equal to 60 percent of the total rate determined by the director.

And, we know that employers that have fewer than 25 employees are not required to pay employer contributions for FMLB.

Next post will discuss logistics and timing.

The text of House Bill 2005 is here: HB 2005 (03211355x7AC43)

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