Almost everyone has experienced a time when they need to care for themselves or a loved one. But when a valued employee needs to take extended time off to welcome a new child, to recover from a serious health condition, or to get help during a domestic violence or assault crisis, many employers can only afford to offer them unpaid leave — no matter how much they care about their team members.
Four out of five employees in the United States do not have access to paid leave, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many businesses and organizations simply find it financially impossible to provide on their own.
That is about to change. Paid Leave Oregon is a new program that ensures individuals, employers, and families — of every kind — have the time and support they need to care for themselves and their loved ones when life’s important moments affect their health and safety.
Paid Leave Oregon includes:
- Family Leave – to care for a family member with a serious illness or injury, or to bond with a child after birth, adoption or foster care placement.
- Medical Leave – during one’s own serious health condition.
- Safe Leave – for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking.
When does Paid Leave Oregon start?
All employees, regardless of the size of their employer, pay into the program starting Jan. 1, 2023.
- Large employers, those with 25 or more employees, also pay into the state program starting Jan. 1.
- Small employers, those with 25 or fewer employees, do not pay into Paid Leave Oregon. Their employees still pay into the program and are eligible for benefits.
How much do we pay?
Employees pay 60 percent of the 1 percent contribution rate. For example, if an employee made $5,000 in gross wages, the employee would pay $30 for this paycheck.
- Large employers pay 40 percent of the 1 percent contribution rate. In this same example, the employer would pay $20 for this paycheck.
- Any employer may choose to pay the employee portion as a benefit for their employees.
- Employers pay contributions for themselves and their employees through Frances Online.
Benefits start September 2023
Contributions begin January 2023, and employees can apply for benefits in September 2023. Benefits include:
- Up to 12 weeks of paid leave per benefit year (up to 14 weeks for pregnancy-related medical leave).
- Job protections for workers who have been with their employer at least 90 days.
Any employee in Oregon who has earned at least $1,000 during the year prior to claiming paid leave may be eligible. Most employees working in Oregon will be covered. Exceptions are:
- Tribal governments, self-employed business owners, and independent contractors may choose to participate by notifying the Paid Leave program.
- Federal government employees are not eligible.
Employees will apply for benefits through Frances Online, the Employment Department’s new modernized information management system.
Learn more details about the program: PaidLeave.Oregon.gov