Oregon Requires Contributions for Paid Family and Medical Leave on January 1
Oregon’s paid family and medical leave program, oddly called Paid Leave, will launch next year. Paid Leave benefits include wage replacement, job protection, and continuation of group health care coverage. Paid Leave is funded by payroll contributions and is administered by the Oregon Employment Department. Employers do not pay the monetary benefits directly to employees.
Employers must start withholdings on January 1, 2023. Employees can take Paid Leave starting on September 3, 2023. The state has a website with FAQs, checklists, videos, and other resources for employers.
Paid Leave applies to most employers and employees in Oregon. Independent contractors, tribal governments, and those who are self-employed are not required to participate but can opt in.
Employers are responsible for sending contributions to the state. For 2023, the total contribution rate is 1% of each employee’s wages, up to $132,900 per year (for a maximum yearly contribution of $1,329). If you have 24 or fewer employees, then your employees pay 60% of the total contribution rate and you pay nothing. If you have 25 or more employees, then you pay 40% and your employees pay 60% of the total contribution rate.
The state will determine an employee’s eligibility when they apply. To be eligible for Paid Leave benefits, an employee must have earned $1,000 in the previous year. To be entitled to job protection and continuation of health care coverage, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 90 days before taking leave.
Amount and Reasons for Leave
Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of Paid Leave per year for family, medical, or safe leave. Employees can take an additional two weeks for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.
Family leave is to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to bond with a new child. Medical leave is for the employee’s own serious health condition. Safe leave is for domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking.
If the employee’s Paid Leave also qualifies for Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) or the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), then the leaves will run concurrently. In that case, the employee is entitled to take up to 16 weeks of combined paid and unpaid leave per year or, if the leave is for pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition, up to 18 weeks.
Employers are required to provide notice about Paid Leave:
- To each employee upon hire, upon their assignment to remote work (if applicable), and when the policy or procedure changes, and
- By posting notice at each worksite in an accessible location where employees regularly go.
The notice must be in the language that the employer uses to communicate with employees. The state provides a model notice in several languages on its Paid Leave Resources page.
If an employer requires employees to provide 30 days’ written notice for foreseeable leave, they need to provide the procedure for requesting leave in writing upon hire and if the policy changes.
By January 1, 2023:
- Ensure that your payroll is set up to handle contributions. Resourcing Edge has set up payroll to handle these contributions through tax deductions.
- Add the notice to your new hire packet. Resourcing Edge has added a notice to the new hire onboarding process.
- Display the notice in an accessible location at each worksite.
Oregon Changes Overtime for Agricultural Workers and Manufacturers
Agricultural Workers Eligible for Overtime
Beginning on January 1, 2023, the overtime exemption for agricultural workers will be phased out. Employers will have to pay agricultural workers 1.5 times their regular rate of pay, as follows:
- In 2023 and 2024, overtime is owed above 55 hours in a workweek.
- In 2025 and 2026, overtime is owed above 48 hours in a workweek.
- In 2027 and beyond, overtime is owed above 40 hours in a workweek.
Employment Agreements Cannot Prevent Discrimination Disclosure
Effective January 1, 2023, former and current employees will be added to those who are protected from nondisclosure or non-disparagement provisions in an employment agreement—as a condition of employment, continued employment, promotion, receipt of pay or benefits—that prevents their disclosure of discrimination because of:
- A protected class and including sexual assault;
- Military service; or
The law also added new, specific conditions in any agreement between an employer and employee when an employee releases their claim against the employer. Under the law, it can’t include the following unless the employee requests it:
- A provision preventing disclosure of the settlement amount or that they settled.
- A no-rehire provision that prohibits the employee from seeking re-employment with the employer.