Paid Leave Oregon will begin in 2023. Oregon payroll taxation beings January 1, 2023, and employees may start applying for benefits September 3, 2023. Paid Leave Oregon will be administered by the Oregon Employment Department and beginning in September 2023 employees can apply online at paidleave.oregon.gov or request a paper application from the department. The Oregon Employment Department will approve or deny the leave and provide that information to employers.
Paid Leave Oregon is for all employees in Oregon that receive wages. This includes owners that are the only employee of a business and receive wages reported on a W-2. Self-employed individuals who earn income through self-employment, rather than wages are exempt from the program.
What do you need to do?
- By January 1, 2023, provide all employees with the Oregon Paid Leave Notice Poster. You can send this to employees electronically or provide them with a paper copy.
- Check with your payroll provider to see if they are handling the registration for the new tax. We have confirmed that Paychex will be handling this for all Taxpay clients and employers using their service do not need to register.
Paid Leave Oregon will be funded via payroll tax and cannot exceed 1% of wages up to $132,900.
- Employees will pay 0.6%.
- Employers will pay the other 0.4%.
- Small employers with fewer than 25 employees nationwide are exempt from paying the employer portion of the tax.
- Small employers electing to pay the employer contribution are eligible for grants up to $3,000 to hire temporary replacement workers and up to $1,000 more to reimburse “significant wage-related costs” incurred because an employee takes FML.
What types of leave qualify for Paid Leave Oregon benefits?
- Medical leave necessary to care for your own serious health condition.
- Family leave necessary to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
- Family leave to care for and bond with a child during its first year with you (birth, adoption, foster).
- Safe leave for victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking.
A serious health condition is defined as inpatient care, a period of incapacity lasting 3 or more consecutive days requiring treatment of a healthcare provider, or a chronic health condition requiring periodic healthcare visits and causes episodic incapacity, pregnancy related care (before and after birth).
Family is defined as:
- Your spouse or registered domestic partner.
- Your or your spouse’s or RDP’s child: biological, adopted, stepchild, foster child, ward, or a person in a relationship of in loco parentis.
- You or your spouse’s or RDP’s parent: biological, adoptive, stepparent, person who was foster parent or legal guardian, or a personal in a relationship of in loco parentis
- Your or your spouse’s or RDP’s sibling, stepsibling, or that sibling’s spouse or RDP.
- Your or your spouse’s or RDP’s grandparents or grandchild including those individuals’ spouses or RDPs.
- Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with a covered employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
Employees that qualify for leave be able to receive up to 120% of the Oregon average weekly wage which will be set in July each year. For 2023 the average weekly wage is $1,224.82.
What can you require from employees?
- Employers may require 30-days’ advance written notice for planned leaves.
- If circumstances prevent advance notice, an employee must give oral notice within 24 hours of the start of the leave and must provide a written notice within 3 days after the leaves start.
- Employers may require employee to provide an explanation of the need for leave.
- Employees failing to give proper notice may have their first weekly benefit reduced by 25%.
What are employers required to do for employees on Oregon Paid Leave that have worked at least 90 days?
- Employees returning from Oregon Paid Leave must be restored to the same position, if that position still exists, “without regard to whether the employer filled the position with a replacement.”
- If the job no longer exists, the employee must be restored to any available equivalent position with equivalent terms and conditions of employment.
- Except employers with fewer than 25 employees many restore the employee to a different position with similar job duties with the same terms and conditions.
- Employers must retain health care benefits as if the employee is still actively at work.
Oregon Paid Leave benefits are in addition to any Oregon Paid (or unpaid) Sick leave, vacation leave, or other paid leave. Please refer to the Paid Leave OFLA-FMLA chart to coordinate all other leave.
An employer may permit an employee to use any accrued Paid Time Off or vacation to gross-up their Oregon Paid Leave benefit up to 100% of normal wage but cannot mandate other paid leave use during Oregon Paid Leave.
If an employee is entitled to workers compensation or unemployment benefits, the employee is disqualified from receiving Oregon Paid Leave.