On August 9, 2019, the Paid Family & Medical Leave (PMFL) insurance program was created to provide partially or fully compensated time away from work for employees who require Family, Medical or Safe leave. The law allows covered individuals to receive up to 12 weeks of paid time off to recover from serious illness, bond with a newborn or newly adopted or fostered child and face a domestic violence situation. Additional extensions may be available for limitations associated with pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.

PFML applies to nearly all Oregon private and non-profit employers with 25 or less workers and covers all self-employed and tribal employees who contribute and submit a claim. To be eligible to receive protected leave and benefits during an absence, an employee must have been employed 90 days or more and have earned $1,000 in wages during the base year or alternate base year.

Although payroll tax contributions to the fund will be required starting January 1, 2022, employees aren’t eligible to access leave benefits until January 1, 2023. Contributions may not exceed one percent of employee wages – of that amount, employees will contribute 60% and employers will contribute the remaining 40%. Penalties will be assessed for failure to comply and remit payments, however, employers with fewer than 25 employees are exempt from paying the employer portion of the contribution.

Employers must provide written notice to employees of their rights and duties and the availability of benefits in accordance with the rules adopted by the Director of the Employment Department. Equivalent plan exemptions are available.