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Oregon Family Leave Act Updates

Employers covered by the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) (those with 25 or more employees in Oregon) should be aware of the following significant changes to the law effective July 1, 2024.

Forward-Looking Leave Year Required

Employers will be required to use a forward-looking leave year to determine the amount of OFLA leave an employee is entitled to take within a given one-year period. The forward-looking leave year is a consecutive 52-week period, beginning on the Sunday immediately preceding the date on which leave begins. Employers that don’t currently use a forward-looking leave year calculation will have to transition to one as of July 1.

Many Covered Reasons for Leave Eliminated

OFLA’s covered reasons for leave will be significantly reduced to limit overlap with Paid Leave Oregon (PLO). OFLA will no longer cover the following reasons for leave:

  • To care for an infant or newly adopted or foster child
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition (except for caring for a sick or injured child at home)
  • To recover from, or seek treatment for, the employee’s own serious health condition

Employees’ leave entitlement under OFLA will be limited to the following:

  • Up to 12 weeks of leave per year to either care for a child at home because they are sick or injured (for both serious and nonserious health conditions) or because their school or care provider is closed due to a public health emergency.
  • Up to four total weeks of leave per year for bereavement (employees are still allowed to take two weeks of leave for each death, but the total amount of leave has been reduced from 12 weeks to four weeks).
  • Up to 12 weeks of leave for any illness, injury, or condition related to their own pregnancy or childbirth that prevents them from performing any available job duties offered by the employer. (As before, this time is available in addition to an employee’s use of OFLA for other purposes.)
  • Up to 14 days per deployment under the Oregon Military Family Leave Act.

Additionally, from July 1, 2024, through December 31, 2024, OFLA will provide employees with two weeks of leave to complete the necessary legal steps for the placement of a foster child or the adoption of a child. These two weeks are available in addition to an employee’s use of OFLA for other purposes. Beginning January 1, 2025, this will be covered under PLO.

Rescinding Previously Designated OFLA Leaves

Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) requires employers to take certain steps with respect to rescinding approvals for OFLA leaves that are currently covered under the law but won’t be as of July 1, 2024. Employers can use the model notice provided by the Oregon Employment Department for these communications. See the platform for more information or the recently updated BOLI page covering the changes.

OFLA and PLO Won’t Run Concurrently

OFLA and PLO will no longer run concurrently. This means that any leave taken under one law will be in addition to any leave taken under the other.

Action Items

  • Update your OFLA policies as needed
  • Prepare for the new forward-looking OFLA leave year
  • Provide necessary notices for leaves that will no longer be covered by OFLA

PLO and Use of Accrued Paid Leave

Effective July 1, 2024, employees on PLO leave will be entitled to use any accrued paid leave in conjunction with PLO benefits, up to the amount that would result in full wage replacement. Employers will also have the option of allowing the use of accrued paid leave in an amount that would result in the employee getting more than full wage replacement. Additionally, if multiple types of accrued leave are available to an employee, the employer can determine the order in which the different types of accrued leave are used.

Action Item

Update your PLO policy to state that employees have the option to use any accrued paid leave they have available to make themselves whole and specify whether they will be permitted to use accrued paid leave to exceed full wage replacement.

Predictive Scheduling Exceptions Broadened

Effective July 1, 2024, the state’s predictive scheduling law (which only applies to employers in the retail, hospitality, and food services industries with 500 or more employees) will contain a new exception for short-notice schedule changes due to PLO, OFLA, and related leaves. Specifically, when an employer is provided with less than 14 days’ notice of an employee going out on, or returning from, a protected leave, they won’t owe predictive scheduling pay to an employee who is temporarily covering the absent employee’s shifts.

Action Item

If this law applies to you and your policy includes exceptions to required pay, update it to include this scenario.

HR Consulting Team, HR Services
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