Oregon Passes Paid Family Medical Leave

Published Monday, July 8, 2019

This July, HB 2005, an Oregon bill creating a statewide insurance program for paid family medical leave passed both the Oregon House and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature. HB 2005 will provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks (with some exceptions) of partially or fully paid time away from work for family leave, medical leave or safe leave from harassment, sexual assault or stalking.

HB 2005 will apply to employers with one or more employees. Currently, Oregon allows eligible employees to take unpaid time off under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA – 25 or more employees) or the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA – 50 or more employees). This paid leave will run concurrently with OFLA and/or FMLA. Moreover, paid family and medical leave under HB 2005 is in addition to Oregon’s Paid Sick Leave law and any vacation or paid time off employees accrue in the course of their employment.

All eligible employers and employees will be required to make payroll contributions to the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund. To be eligible, employees must have earned more than $1,000 in wages per year. Employers with fewer than 25 employees are exempt from the employer contributions. For employers with 25 or more employees, employees will contribute 60 percent and employers will contribute 40 percent.

The contribution rate will be determined by the Oregon Employment Department and the rate will not exceed 1 percent of an employee’s wages. The employee and employer contributions are pooled together and when an employee becomes eligible for paid leave, funds are available through the statewide insurance program.

Under HB 2005, if an eligible employee’s average weekly wage is equal to or less than 65 percent of Oregon’s average weekly wage, which is currently $1,044.40, the employee will receive 100 percent wage replacement during their leave. Employees who earn more than 65 percent of Oregon’s average weekly wage will receive wage replacements based on a tiered system.

The rules for HB 2005 will be established by September 1, 2021, with contribution collections starting on January 1, 2022 and benefits beginning on January 1, 2023.

Cascade will keep you updated on HB 2005. If you have any questions, let us know!

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