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Global Compliance Desk – Oregon

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Oregon: Upcoming Changes to Paid Leave and Family Leave 

The Oregon legislature recently passed Senate Bill (SB) 1515, introducing significant amendments to the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) and Paid Leave Oregon(PLO). The amendment aims to streamline employee leave benefits, reducing overlap and complexity for both employees and employers. The bill shall become effective on July 1, 2024

Current Leave Entitlements

Paid Leave Oregon (PLO)

Currently, under Paid Leave Oregon, employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid leave in a 52-week period (starting from the day your leave begins) for any of the below qualifying events. Employees may be able to take up to 2 additional weeks (up to 14 total weeks) if they are pregnant, have given birth, or have health needs because of childbirth. 

A qualifying life event means any of these:

  • Caring for and bonding with a child in the first year after birth, adoption, and foster care.
  • A family member has a serious health condition.
  • Employees have a serious health condition
  • Employee or their child is a survivor of sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, bias crimes, or stalking,

Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)

The OFLA requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave. Employees who qualify as eligible for leave can utilize it to care for themselves or family members. Time off or leave has the right to be taken under OFLA for a variety of cases, including things like: 

  • Injury, Illness, or some other serious health condition
  • School or childcare closures from a statewide public health emergency
  • Birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child
  • Military deployment or spousal deployment/leave from active duty
  • Death in the family or bereavement.

Upcoming Changes in Leave Entitlements

The Senate Bill removes some of the overlap between Paid Leave and OFLA, specifically about which “qualifying life events” OFLA covers. Effective July 1, 2024, Paid Leave Oregon will become the primary source of leave entitlements previously covered under OFLA. A qualifying life event is the reason you are taking leave, like having a baby, recovering from a serious illness, or mourning the loss of a loved one.

Effective July 1, 2024, an employee will not be permitted to take OFLA leave and Paid Leave at the same time unless it is for different qualifying life events. The qualifying events defined above are only changing for OFLA entitlement, wherein the qualifying events for Paid Leave shall remain the same. Starting July 1, 2024, OFLA will only cover leave for the following reasons, which will eliminate duplicate coverage for the same conditions and the possibility of leave stacking. 

  1. To care for a sick child (under 18 or disabled), including for a serious health condition, or to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to a public health emergency.  
  2. Bereavement leave – which will be capped at 4 weeks per year and two weeks per family member 
  3. Pregnancy disability leave – which will be in addition to other leave under OFLA and PLO 
  4. Leave to manage the legal process of placing a foster child or adoption – this is a temporary, 2-week benefit per year which will be available under the OFLA from July 1, 2024, through December 31, 2024. Starting Jan. 1, 2025, leave for this reason will be covered under PLO. 

The current OFLA benefits that will be removed from OFLA starting July 1, 2024, are: 

  1. Family leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition or parental bonding leave. 
  2. Medical leave for an employee’s serious health condition.

These benefits will be available only under PLO starting July 1, 2024. 

Concurrent Leave with FMLA – The new law specifies that OFLA and PLO will not run concurrently. OFLA coverage shall only trigger in some scenarios. First, if PLO does not apply, OFLA protections might apply. An employee requiring leave for a sick child or a death in the family, for example, will not be eligible for PLO benefits but may be entitled to OFLA benefits.

Second, if an employee exhausts their PLO entitlement, OFLA protections may provide additional (unpaid) leave entitlements. 

For example, an employee requiring leave for a sick child who has already used 12 weeks of PLO benefits for a child with a serious health condition would be entitled to 12 weeks of OFLA coverage. Similarly, an employee who uses their full allotment of PLO benefits to accommodate a pregnancy disability would be entitled to an additional 12 weeks of OFLA leave for the same pregnancy-related disability.

Employer and Employee Leave Management – The new law shall also impact employees’ entitlement to use any employer-offered vacation or sick leave accruals while on PLO leave. 

Currently, employers could decide whether to allow employees to use their paid leave accruals to supplement or top off their PLO benefits. 

Beginning July 1, 2024, however, employees on PLO leave will be entitled to use any employer-offered paid leave accruals to supplement their PLO benefits up to the employees’ full wage replacement. Employers will retain discretion over whether to allow employees to use additional paid leave exceeding their full wage replacement.


Takeaway Employers shall review and revise their Paid Leave Oregon and OFLA leave policies effective July 1, 2024 and take proactive steps to comply with these changes before the amendment comes into effect.  

Disclaimer: The material provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. We endeavor to keep all material up-to-date and correct but make no representations about the information's completeness, accuracy, or reliability. Laws vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change and interpretation based on individual factors that may differ between organizations. The material is not meant to constitute legal advice and we suggest you seek the advice of legal counsel in connection with any of the information presented.
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