United States: Oregon Adopts New Broad Paid Family Medical Leave Law

On August 9, Oregon's governor signed into law House Bill 2005, which establishes one of the most comprehensive paid family and medical leave programs in the country. Starting in January 2023, Oregon employees can apply for and receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave benefits for leave that qualifies as parental, medical, or safe leave (for victims of domestic violence). The law establishes a new benefit insurance fund, administered by the state's Employment Department, to which employers with 25 or more employees must make joint contributions.

Key Provisions of the New Law

  • Employers with 25 or more employees in Oregon, and their employees, must generally contribute to the fund: Employers will make 40% of the required contributions to the plan; employees will pay 60%.
  • Employers that provide employees with equivalent paid leave under their own plan can apply for an exemption that relieves them and their employees from the obligation to make these contributions.
  • Required contributions to the plan must begin by January 1, 2022. All notices to employees required by the new law, its enforcement provisions, prohibitions on discrimination or retaliation, and recordkeeping requirements will also go into effect in January 2022. Eligible employees can receive paid leave benefits starting on January 1, 2023.
  • Employees who believe they are discriminated or retaliated against for invoking their rights under the new law will be able to bring a civil action or file an administrative complaint for any alleged interference.
  • Employers that fail to file required reports or pay contributions will face a penalty of up to 1% of all employee wages. Corporate officers, LLC members, and partners can also be held personally liable for amounts due and could face criminal misdemeanor charges for violations. The Director of the Employment Department can also bring civil actions, assess further penalties, settle disputes over delinquent amounts, and bring criminal misdemeanor charges against individual corporate officers.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Fund: The Basics

Employees and employers will make contributions throughout the year to the state's Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund, which will be administered by the Oregon Employment Department. Employees who worked at least 90 days for an employer can apply with the state for 12 weeks of paid insurance benefits per year for qualifying family, medical, or safe leave, and up to 14 weeks for certain pregnancy-related leave. Paid leave provided under the new fund will be supplemental to any other unpaid leave an employee may qualify for under Oregon's Family Medical Leave Act (OFLA) or the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), paid sick leave under Oregon law, or other paid benefits provided by an employer. However, employees cannot use a combination of paid sick leave, any vacation or other employer-provided paid leave, and insurance fund benefits to obtain more than 100% of the wages missed during a period of family medical leave. All leave benefits granted from the fund must be taken concurrently with any family and medical leave under OFLA or FMLA for the same qualifying purpose. Employees will not receive benefits from the fund for any weeks they also receive workers' compensation or unemployment benefits.

Required Contributions to the Fund

All employers with 25 or more employees in the State of Oregon and their eligible employees must contribute to the new family and medical leave fund. Contribution percentages will be determined by the Director of the Employment Department, but should not exceed 1% of employee wages and will be capped at $132,900 per year for an employee. Employers must pay 40% of the total required for each eligible employee. Employees will be responsible for the remaining 60% through payroll deductions.

The employer contribution portion may not be deducted from employee wages, but employers can elect to pay portions of the employee's contribution as an employer-provided benefit. Employee payroll contributions will be held in trust by an employer and paid to the Oregon Department of Revenue on a quarterly basis.

Employers with fewer than 25 employees in Oregon need not make the 40% contribution, but may make payroll contributions to the fund. Small employers that voluntarily elect to pay the employer contribution to the fund can also apply for a state-funded grant for reimbursement for some of their contribution.

Employee Notice of Leave Required for Benefits

Employees will have to give written notice to their employer of the need and reasons for leave at least 30 days prior to its commencement. If the leave is not foreseeable, an employee can give an employer verbal notice within 24 hours, but must still provide written notice within three days. An employer must notify the Employment Department when any employee fails to provide the required notice as the Department may reduce any benefits provided to the employee under the fund.

Unlawful Employment Practices and Employer Safe Harbor

The new law prohibits discrimination and retaliation against employees who invoke or inquire about their rights under the new law, and any interference with their rights. Employees who receive benefits from the fund and take leave must be restored to their prior position without regard to whether the position was filled with a replacement. If the prior position no longer exists, then employees must be offered another available equivalent position. However, the law does not require employers to retain a temporary worker it may have hired to replace an employee on leave. The law also provides a safe harbor against civil actions brought by a worker hired or transferred to temporarily replace an employee on leave. To use this safe harbor, the employer must inform the temporary employee at the time of hire or reassignment that they are temporarily replacing an employee on leave.


Employees will be able to bring a civil action or file a complaint with Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries to enforce their rights under the law. Employers that willfully make false statements or fail to report material facts about employee claims or eligibility will face a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each occurrence. Improper employer reports will also be subject to penalties based on a percentage of employees' total amount of wages. The law also imposes criminal liability on businesses and their officers for failure to comply with the law. Officers of any defaulting employer can be held personally liable for any amounts due.

Employers to Adopt Written Notices of Employee Rights

Employers must adopt and provide written notices to employees about their rights and duties under the law. At a minimum, the notice must advise employees about:

  • Their right to (a) claim and receive family and medical leave insurance benefits, including their right to appeal benefit determinations; (b) job protection; and (c) file a complaint or bring a civil action for violating the law;
  • The procedure for filing a claim for benefits;
  • Requirements for providing notice before starting leave and any penalties or repercussions for failure to comply;
  • A description of the law's prohibition against discrimination and retaliation for an employee inquiring about the insurance program, giving notice of leave, taking leave or claiming benefits; and
  • A statement that the health information an employee may provide to an employer related to leave is confidential and only released with the employee's permission or as required by law or court order.

Exemption for an Employer's Equivalent Plan

Employers that provide equivalent paid family medical leave benefits can apply to the Department for an exemption from making contributions and deducting employee contributions if:

  • Their plan is available to all employees who are continuously employed for 30 days;
  • The benefits provided to employees are equal to or greater than the weekly benefits and duration of leave an eligible employee would qualify for under the law; and
  • The employer provides written notice to employees about the benefits available under their plan, including duration of leave; the process for filing a claim and deductions; the employee's right to dispute a benefit determination, job protection, and benefit continuation; and a statement about the prohibition of discrimination or retaliation.

Most Provisions Take Effect in 2022 and 2023

The Employment Department will establish more detailed rules for applying and interpreting the law, including the approval process for any employer-provided equivalent plan, by September 1, 2021. Employees will not be eligible for benefits under the new fund until January 1, 2023. However, employers and employees must commence contributions starting January 1, 2022. The other substantive portions of the law will also go into effect on January 1, 2022.

More Guidance to Come

The Employment Department and legislature has several years to establish more substantive procedures and rules ironing out some gaps and questions that remain about the new groundbreaking law. In the meantime, employers are encouraged to consult with counsel for advice and guidance on preparing for the law's implementation.1


1 Littler's Portland office will host a Breakfast Briefing to cover the new requirements of the law. Employers interested in receiving more information on this law and/or the Breakfast Briefing can contact the author.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions