The Oregon Paid Family & Medical Leave (OR PFML) program was enacted in August 2019, and beginning January 1, 2023, Oregon employers and employees will begin paying into the program. While much of the OR PFML requirements mirror parts of the Federal Family Medical Leave Act and Washington’s PFML, there are some notable differences employers should consider as the program rolls out. An overview of the program, along with important dates highlighted below.
How the Program Works
OR PFML runs concurrently with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees can take paid leave through OR PFML while taking leave through the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) and FMLA.
Employers with 25 or more employees must participate and pay into the program. Both workers and employers contribute to the program through payroll taxes at a total contribution rate of 1% of employee wages. Employers with 25 or more employees are required to pay 40% of the contribution with employees paying 60%, although employers of all sizes may choose to pay a portion, or all, of the premium on behalf of their employees.
Employers with fewer than 25 employees are not required to contribute the employer portion of the premium. However, employers with fewer than 25 employees will still need to collect and submit their employees’ contribution.
Contributions begin on January 1, 2023.
Who is Eligible to receive Benefits?
All employees who have earned $1,000 or more with the employer during four consecutive quarters before taking leave are eligible. Employees may take up to 12 weeks paid leave per benefit year, with total paid and unpaid leave capped at 16 weeks (up to 18 weeks for complications due to pregnancy or childbirth).
Employees receiving workers’ compensation or unemployment insurance benefits are not eligible to receive OR PFML benefits.
Employees may be eligible for medical leave if they are unable to work due to a non-work-related injury or illness, including pregnancy and childbirth. Employees may also be eligible for paid family leave to care for a seriously ill family member, for the birth or adoption of a child, and to address matters related to being a victim of family violence.
Notably, OR PFML uses a broad definition of “family member,” which includes non-related individuals who have a close relationship with the covered employee.
Weekly Benefit Amount
Starting on September 3, 2023, eligible Oregon workers will be entitled to wage replacement benefits when time off is needed for a worker’s own medical leave or paid family leave.
Eligible employees who earn 65% or less of the state’s average weekly wage (SAWW) will receive 100% wage replacement. Employees earning more than 65% of the SAWW will receive 50% of every dollar they earn above 65% up to 120% of the SAWW.
In addition to the benefits provided for under the OR PFML, employers may permit employees to use paid sick time, vacation leave or any other paid leave earned to get them up to 100% of their average weekly wage. Aside from monetary benefits, OR PFML also provides job protection to employees taking paid leave if the employee has worked for the employer for at least 90 consecutive calendar days.
Notification and Reporting Requirements
As Oregon’s PFML takes shape, employers will need to be aware of new notification and reporting requirements. Employers must report employee wages for those working in Oregon along with employee counts for both Oregon employees and those that work in other states.
By January 1, 2023, employers are required to post a notice poster (a model notice poster can be found at paidleave.oregon.gov) at each work site and they must provide it electronically or by mail to any remote workers. Notice must advise employees of their right to:
Take leave under PFML;
Receive job protections and benefits continuation;
Appeal claims decisions;
File a civil claim for a PFML violation; and
Have their health information remain confidential
Employers must also provide written notice about:
Claim filing procedures;
Employees’ notice obligations; and
Laws against retaliatory actions by the employer
As Oregon’s Paid Family & Medical Leave comes into effect, and takes shape in years to come, employers and employees alike will have to navigate the new program. If you have any questions regarding the application of OR PFML, please contact me at or (971) 867-2728.