Oregon

Paid Family Leave Laws

Great news! There are several family leave laws that Oregon workers can take advantage of:

  • Federal Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)
  • Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)
  • Paid Leave Oregon (PLO)

Employers are advised to apply the law that’s most beneficial to the employee.

If you’re covered, the federal FMLA and OFLA give you the right to time off and protect your job, but do not provide pay. 

PLO gives you cash benefits to help cover lost wages while you’re on leave and (for most workers) protects your job. 

Generally, if you qualify for more than one, leave under FMLA, OFLA, and/or PLFO runs concurrently (at the same time). Special rules may apply if you take both OFLA and PLO.

Federal Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)

FMLA provides leave to care for a:

  • Child (who is under the age of 18 or incapable of self-care due to a physical or mental disability)
  • Spouse
  • Parent (including a biological, adoptive, foster, or step-parent, or any other person who stood "in loco parentis” but not including a parent-in-law)

FMLA eligibility includes:

  • All public employers and private employers who employ 50 or more workers within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite. 
  • ​​Employees must have worked for a covered employer for at least one year and have worked for that employer for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. 

FMLA provisions:

Up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

  • For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care, or childbirth
  • To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition
  • For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job
  • For certain needs in connection with a loved one's military deployment
  • If medically necessary, employees caring for a seriously ill loved one may be able to take this time in smaller chunks, spread out over time, rather than all at once.

FMLA Protections:

  • Job and Seniority: Upon return from FMLA leave, nearly all employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Rare exceptions to this rule are explained here
  • Benefits: During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage and continue paying any share of their health insurance premium under any “group health plan” on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work.
  • FMLA rights: An employer can’t punish an employee in any way for using their FMLA rights and can’t interfere with the employees ability to use their rights under the law.


How to apply for FMLA:

  • Notify your employer of your need for leave. You'll need to get your loved one's health care provider to certify their health condition and need for care. Your employer will then provide you with notices and forms to fill out and return to them. 
  • If you know in advance when your leave will start, tell your employer at least 30 days before that date. If you can’t do so or don’t know in advance, tell your employer as soon as possible.

Detailed information about Federal FMLA, visit the US Department of Labor website

But first, check out Oregon’s other leave programs below.

PFL provisions:

  • 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the care of family members listed above with a serious health condition.

FMLA Protections:

  • Job and seniority: your employer is required to reinstate you to the same or an equivalent position.
  • Benefits: While on FMLA, you’re entitled to continue your health insurance at the same terms you have while working. 


You can read more details about Federal FMLA, here. 

But first, check out how the Oregon laws expand on this coverage below.


OR Family Leave Act (OFLA) 

OFLA expands on the Federal FMLA law with:

  • A broader definition of “family member”
  • Eligibility for more residents

OFLA provides leave to care for a:

  • Child
  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Parent
  • Sibling or step-sibling
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild 
  • Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with a covered individual is the equivalent of a family relationship
  • Additional relationships through marriage or domestic partnership (for example, a grandparent-in-law)

OFLA eligibility includes:

  • Employees of any employer with at least 25 employees in the state of Oregon
  • The employee must have been employed by the covered employer for at least 180 days 
  • The employee must have worked an average of at least 25 hours per week for the covered employer during the 180 days immediately prior to the start of leave
  • For parental leave, the employee must have been employed 180 days with no minimum number of hours

OFLA provisions:

  • Up to 12 weeks of protected time off per year for any of these reasons:some text
    • Parental leave for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. (Parents who use 12 weeks of OFLA as parental leave may take up to 12 more weeks for sick child leave.)
    • Serious health condition leave for the employees own serious health condition, or to care for a family member
    • Pregnancy disability leave before or after birth of child or for prenatal care. OFLA provides up to 12 weeks of pregnancy disability leave in addition to 12 weeks for any reason listed here.
    • Sick child leave for the employee’s child with an illness or injury that requires home care but is not a serious health condition. The employee may also take OFLA protected time if their child's school or childcare provider is closed due to a public health emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic school closures.
    • Up to 2 weeks Bereavement leave after the death of a family member

A separate but related law may provide unpaid leave in connection with a loved one's military deployment.

Paid Leave Oregon (PLO)

PLO expands on the Federal FMLA law with:

  • A broader definition of “family member”
  • Eligibility for more residents 
  • Paid leave

PLO provides leave to care for a:

  • Child
  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Parent
  • Sibling or step-sibling
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild 
  • Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with a covered individual is the equivalent of a family relationship
  • Additional relationships through marriage or domestic partnership (for example, a grandparent-in-law).

PLO eligibility includes:

  • All employees who work for an employer in Oregon and earned at least $1,000 the year before they apply for benefits are automatically covered.
  • Employees are not automatically covered if they are:
  • Selfsome text
    • Self-employed or an independent contractor
    • A Tribal government or they work for a Tribal government
    • A federal employee
    • A participant in a work training program as part of a state or federal assistance program
    • A participant in a work-study program that provides students in secondary or postsecondary educational institutions with employment opportunities for financial assistance or vocational training
    • A railroad employee exempted under the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act
    • A volunteer
  • Self-employed workers can opt in to coverage. Opt-in information is here.
  • Tribal governments can choose to contribute to Paid Leave, but are not required to pay into the program. More information on the Tribal Government exemption can be found here

PLO provisions:

  • Up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a seriously ill family member as listed above for these reasons:some text
    • To care for and bond with a child in the first year after birth, adoption, or placement through foster care
    • To care for a family member with a serious health condition
    • To care for the employee if they have a serious health condition
    • To care for the employee or their child if they or their child are survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, bias crimes, or stalking

PLO Benefit Amount

The benefit amount is based on a sliding scale using The employee’s average weekly wage from the past 12 months and the state average weekly wage. You can estimate the PLO benefit amount you may be eligible to receive on the PLO Benefits Calculator.

PLO Protections:

  • The employee must have been employed by their employer for at least 90 days to have job protection though PLO. The employee may also qualify for job protection through OFLA and FMLA, which can be taken at the same time as PLO. Check with your Human Resources department about job protection before applying.
  • The employer cannot fire the employee or threaten them for taking time off if they’re eligible for paid leave, and they must give the employee the time off according to the law.
  • If the employee has been employed by the employer for at least 90 days, they have the right to get their job (or a similar job) back following leave. However, if the employer has fewer than 25 employees and the employee’s position no longer exists, the employer may be able to give them a different job with the same benefits and pay following leave, subject to certain rules.
  • If the employee has been employed by the employer for at least 90 days and receives health insurance through the employer, the employer must maintain their health insurance while they’re on leave on the same terms as while they’re working. 

How to apply for family leave in Oregon:

Notify your employer of your need for leave in writing 30 days prior to your leave start date if possible. If it’s not possible to provide notice in advance, notify your employer within 24 hours of the start of your leave and provide written notice within three days of the start of your leave. 

OFLA:

Your employer will direct you to or provide you with the forms you will need to submit.

PLO:
Apply online at Frances Online or submit a paper application or call 833-854-0166. 

For the most current details about OFLA visit this page on the Oregon.gov website
For the most current details about PLO visit the Paid Leave Oregon website.

Note: The state, county, or city where you live may also offer short term (a few days per year) paid sick leave or paid time off that you may be able to use for caregiving. You can find short term leave information for jurisdictions in the state of Oregon here.

The information on this page should not be considered legal advice. Other protections may apply in your specific situation. 

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