Oregon

 

Although there are common elements to the many Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) regulations, there are also differences in the way each state designs its plan and coordinates it with other leave types. Here’s what you need to know about PFML in Oregon.
 

Paid Family and Medical Leave

What is Oregon Family and Medical Leave Insurance (OR FMLI)?

Oregon Family and Medical Leave Insurance (OR FMLI) is a statewide program that allows eligible paid time off for eligible employees for the following qualifying reasons: periods of medical leave, certain family leave, and safe leave. Family leave reasons include caring for a family member with a serious health condition and bonding with a child following birth or placement within the first twelve months.

OR FMLI benefits are also available for leave reasons under Oregon’s domestic violence leave law. FMLI benefits are not available for sick child leave, bereavement leave, or qualifying exigency leave.
  

When does it start?

Assessment and collection of contributions for covered individuals will begin on January 1, 2022, with payment of benefits starting by January 1, 2023.
  

Which employers are subject to the law?

All public and private employers with employees working in Oregon must provide family and medical leave insurance (FMLI) benefits to covered individuals. The federal government and tribal governments are excluded. Employers may choose to use the state-run program or opt out by using an approved private plan for the payment of FMLI benefits. The benefits afforded to covered individuals must be equivalent to, or greater than, the benefits the covered individuals are entitled to in the state's FMLI program.
  

Who is eligible?

Eligible employees include those who have earned at least $1,000 in wages during the base year or the alternate base year. A “base year” is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters preceding the benefit year; the “alternate base year” is the last four completed calendar quarters preceding the benefit year.
  

How is this program funded?

FMLI will be funded entirely through employee and employer contribution. The total contribution rate shall be set by the Director of the Employment Department but will not be more than 1% of the employee’s wages, with employers and employees sharing the cost. The actual rate will be forthcoming from the state. Employee contributions shall be 60% and employer contributions shall be 40% of the total rate. Employers that employ fewer than 25 employees are not required to pay the employer contributions. However, if an employer that employs fewer than 25 employees elects to pay employer contributions, the employer may apply to receive a grant.
  

What is the voluntary program option?

Employers may apply to use their company plan instead of the state plan with formal approval from the appointed Director. An employer’s plan must be equivalent to, or greater than, the state’s plan and provides the same rights to covered employees. An application fee not to exceed $250 will be required. Additional detail will be forthcoming from the state, including application instructions, timelines and the types of company programs (e.g. self-funded vs. fully-insured) the state will recognize.
  

What are the benefits to the employee?

The law will provide employees with up to 12 weeks of paid FMLI benefits over a 12-month period, with total paid and unpaid leave capped at 18 weeks.

Covered individuals will receive a weekly benefit that will vary depending on income. Covered individuals with an average weekly wage (AWW) up to 65% of the state’s AWW, will receive a 100% benefit. (The state’s 2019 AWW was $1,044.40.) Covered individuals with an AWW exceeding 65% of the state’s AWW will receive 100% of their wages up to 65% of the state’s AWW plus 50% of their wages that exceed this threshold. The maximum weekly benefit is capped at 120% of the average weekly wage, and the minimum weekly benefit amount is 5% of the average weekly wage.
  

Does OR FMLI provide intermittent leave?

Employers may apply to use their company plan instead of the state plan with formal approval from the appointed Director. An employer’s plan must be equivalent to, or greater than, the state’s plan and provides the same rights to covered employees. An application fee not to exceed $250 will be required. Additional detail will be forthcoming from the state, including application instructions, timelines and the types of company programs (e.g. self-funded vs. fully-insured) the state will recognize.
  

Does OR FMLI provide job protection?

Yes, OR FMLI is a job-protected program. In addition, Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) is an existing leave law which generally requires certain private-sector employers to provide job-protected unpaid leave to employees for various reasons related to their health or their family members' health. OFLA creates a wage replacement program to provide FMLI benefits to certain employees taking leave for reasons allowed under OFLA and federal FMLA. FMLI benefits must be taken concurrently with OFLA or federal FMLA, where applicable.
  

Insurance products are issued by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY, and Lincoln Life Assurance Company of Boston, Dover, NH. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company does not solicit business in New York, nor is it licensed to do so. Product availability and/or features may vary by state. Limitations and exclusions apply.