BOLI Annouces OFLA Amendments

February, 2007


The Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) recently finalized two amendments affecting how employers administer the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA).

The first change addresses the provision in the Act which provides that employees and employers may use paid leave to substitute their compensation while on leave. The amendment to OAR 839-009-0280 addresses the use of paid leave during situations when an employee's leave qualifies under OFLA and workers' compensation concurrently. The new language states:

"With the employee's consent, the employer may deduct from the employee's accrued sick leave during the concurrent OFLA and workers' compensation leaves, provided the payment amount for sick leave deducted makes up for but does not exceed the employee's daily wage that is not covered by time loss benefits."

Practically speaking, this means two things for employers. First, when a leave qualifies under OFLA and workers' compensation, employers must obtain an employee's consent before making a deduction from an employee's accrued sick leave. Second, the amount deducted cannot exceed the amount not covered by time loss.

The second change announced by BOLI addresses the expectations for an employer when an employee does not return from OFLA leave as scheduled. The amendment to OAR 839-009-0250 now states:

"When an authorized period of OFLA leave has ended and an employee does not return to work, an employer having reason to believe the continuing absence may qualify as OFLA leave must request additional information, and may not treat a continuing absence as unauthorized unless requested information is not provided or does not support OFLA qualification."

This amendment has significant implications for employers struggling with employees who take more leave than authorized. If an employee does not return as scheduled from OFLA leave, before taking disciplinary action, employers are advised to make reasonable attempts to contact the employee to determine if the employee qualifies for additional leave time.

For more information about these amendments or about applying OFLA regulations at your organization, please contact Cascade.

 

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