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Family Leave Law
Oregon's Family Leave Law covers public and private sector employers. Employees are entitled to 12 weeks unpaid leave within a 12-month period for:
- Care of a newborn or newly adopted child or foster child under the age of 18.
- Care of an adopted or foster child over the age of 18 if he or she has a disability preventing self-care.
- Care of a family member with a serious health condition (including a child, grandchild, spouse, parent or parent-in-law or grandparent).
- Treatment or recovery from employee's own serious condition.
- Care of a child that requires homecare as a result of an illness or injury.
Employer Coverage and Employee Eligibility
- Oregon's law applies to employers with 25 or more employees.
- An employee must have worked at least 180 days, and averaged 25 hours per week at the time medical leave is requested.
- An employee requesting leave for a newborn or a newly adopted or foster child need only have worked 180 days with no weekly average hourly requirement.
- Sick leave, paid vacation or any other paid leave may be substituted for unpaid family leave.
Parenting and Maternity Leave
- When taking 12 weeks of leave for a newborn child, the employee is also entitled to 12 weeks to care for a sick child within the same period.
- It is the employer's discretion whether or not to grantfamily leave for an employee whose child'scondition is not life threatening or terminal, and if another family member is able to care for the child.
- In addition to family leave for a child's illness, a female employee may take a 12- week leave for any condition related to pregnancy or childbirth that disables the employee from her job duties.
- An employee may take leave under the FMLA or Oregon state laws; whichever provides the greater benefit.
Parents Working For Same Employer
Parents working for the same employer may not take concurrent leave unless one spouse has a serious illness and the other is taking leave to care for the spouse.
Serious Health Condition
Oregon's family leave law defines "serious health condition:"
- An illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that requires care in a medical facility.
- An illness, disease or condition that in the medical provider believes poses an imminent danger of death, or is terminal, or requires constant care.
- Pregnancy or prenatal care.
Continuation of Benefits
Benefits only accumulate during the leave period if the accumulation is required in an agreement or employer policy.
- Notice of intent to take leave must be given to employer as soon as practicable.
- If possible, notice must be provided 30 days in advance.
- The request for leave must be in writing.
- In case of emergency, an oral request confirmed in writing within 3 days is acceptable.
- An employer may require verification of medical leave that exceeds 3 workdays.
- The employee is entitled to be returned to the same job or equivalent, without loss of seniority (including compensation, benefits, hours, and other terms and conditions) when returning from leave.
- If the employee's job is no longer available due to job elimination during the leave period, he or she is entitled to reinstatement to any available equivalent position.
- If an equivalent job is not available at the former job site, the employer must restore the employee to a similar job within 20 miles of the site.
- While an employee is receiving worker's compensation benefits for a serious health condition, the employer may not reduce the amount of state family leave available to the employee.
- This law does not affect federal leave.
- An employee who is eligible for both worker's compensation and family leave does not lose the right to reinstatement by refusing an offer of light-duty employment. In such instances, the employee will begin a period of family leave and no additional notice to the employer will be required.
Coordination With Federal FMLA
- To the extent possible, the Oregon law strives to be consistent with FMLA.
- Leave taken under state law must be concurrent with leave taken under FMLA.
- If an employer offers a non-discriminatory cafeteria plan as an option, and employee leave is at least as generous as that required under statute, requirements of the statute do not apply.
Crime Victim's Leave Law
- Oregon's crime victim's leave law allows leave to attend criminal proceeding when an employee or a member of their family is a victim to a felony crime.
- This law covers employers with 6 or more employees within Oregon during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks, either in theyear or the year immediately preceding the year in which the employee takes leave.
Employee Eligibility (for Crime Victim's Leave)
A crime victim or member of the immediate family of the victim, who has worked an average of 25 hours or more per week for at least 180 days before the worker takes leave. Immediate family includes: spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, or stepchild.
Notice to take (Crime Victim's) Leave
Reasonable notice along with copies of criminal proceedings is required.
Specifications of (Crime Victim's) Leave
- Victim's leave is unpaid unless employer's policy states otherwise.
- Length of leave is unlimited.
- In order to receive some compensation during leave, employees must be allowed to use any paid accrued leave or other paid time off.
Undue Hardship (while on Crime Victim's Leave)
The court must take the employee's work schedule into consideration when setting time for proceedings if the employee's leave creates "significant difficulty and expense" to the employer. The prosecuting attorney should be notified in such instances.
Domestic Violence Leave Law
This pertains to employers with 6 or more employees. Employees may take leave when the employee or their child is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Leave may be taken for the following purposes:
- To seek legal assistance to ensure health and safely of the employee or child.
- To seek medical treatment for injuries for the employee or child.
- To obtain counseling or victim's services for employee or child.
- To relocate or secure existing home to ensure the safety of the employee or child.
Reasonable advanced notice is required if possible. To approve domestic violence leave, certification of the domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking may be required by the employer. A protective order or other court order, attorney evidence, or other documentation of treatment will suffice as certification.
Oregon Military Family Leave Act
- Covers employers with 35 or more employees in Oregon.
- Employees are eligible if they have worked an average of 20 hours in a workweek. There is no longevity requirement.
- Employers must provide 14 days of unpaid leave for eligible employees of members of the armed forces on active duty.
- An employer subject to Oregon Family Leave Act is subject to the military leave act.
- Leave shall be granted when an employee's military spouse faces "an impending call or order to active duty."
- Employees are entitled to continuation of their benefits while on leave.
- Accrued paid time off may be used during OMFLA leave.
- Upon return to work, employees are entitled to restoration to the job they left.
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