Paid Leave Oregon (“PLOR”) goes into effect one month from today. Oregon is the 9th state in the country to offer paid family leave – which is a separate protection than Oregon Sick Time, Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). As an employer, you need to know that PLOR is a different leave than Oregon Sick Time – they don’t run concurrently. PLOR may run concurrently with OFLA and FMLA when the leave purpose is the same.
Here are some quick facts you need to know as an employer in Oregon:
- By 1/1/23, you need to post the model notice poster at each work site and provide a copy to each employee working remotely. Here’s an example of the model notice poster. Note: this information must be in the employee’s preferred language. You must also begin informing your employees of their rights under PLOR at the time of hire.
- On 1/1/23, employees across Oregon will begin contributing to the program through payroll taxes. If you have 25 or more employees, you will also pay into the program as an Oregon employer. Employers of less than 25 may pay into the program voluntarily.
- Portions calculations are based on 1% of employee’s gross wage:
- Employee pays 0.6 of the 1%
- Employer may pay 0.4 of the 1%
- On 9/3/23, employees may begin applying for benefits under the program so long as they have earned a total of $1,000 in 4 of the 5 previous quarters.
- If an employee has been employed for 90 days, they will qualify for job protection when they take Paid Leave.
- Most employees will receive 12 weeks of paid family leave per year, and some will get an additional 2 weeks.
- Some of the reasons employees will be allowed Paid Leave include:
- A serious medical condition of the employee or a family member;
- Within 12 months of the birth of a new child, adoption or placement of a foster child (Note: Employees may receive up to an additional 2 weeks of Paid Leave for pregnancy-related issues); and
- Survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment or stalking for purposes such as getting legal or law enforcement assistance, seeking medical care or recover from injuries, counseling and support services and/or helping ensure the safety and well-being of the family.
- There is a wage cap per employee of $132,900 for 2023, subject to change based on inflation. Oregon will announce the wage cap (and contribution rate) for the following year on November 15th.
- Some helpful definitions:
- Wages: includes salary and hourly pay; bonus, vacation, holiday and sick pay; tips, commission and fringe benefits.
- Employee count: the number of employees on an employer’s payroll for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month and is the sum of employees in Oregon + out of state employees.
- Family member: includes spouses and domestic partners, children, parents, siblings, step-siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and any individual related by blood or affinity with a relationship equivalent to that of family.
Oregon’s outreach and information campaign is pretty active – they offer an Employer Toolkit, presentations for you and your employees to learn more about the PLOR program from someone in the office, a website, and monthly Zoom sessions. As an employer, it is important to know what you need to do to comply with this new law because noncompliance comes with penalties.
Stay tuned for information in the coming weeks on 3rd party/equivalent plans and how employees apply for these benefits. Do you have a topic you want to know more about? Let me know here! And as always, let me know how I can help you as we navigate the complex world of employing people in Oregon.