13 Apr What You Need to Know About the Paid Family Medical Leave Act
At JJH Law, we want to make sure that small and medium-sized businesses in the state are aware of the biggest change to employment law in Oregon in recent years — the new Paid Family Medical Leave Act.
This law is designed to help employees in Oregon take time off for medical or family reasons without worrying about lost wages. But what exactly is this new law, and how can businesses stay compliant? Let’s take a closer look.
What is the Paid Family Medical Leave Act?
The Paid Family Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) is a new law that was signed into law by Oregon Governor Kate Brown in 2019.
This law provides eligible employees with paid leave starting in September 2023 for various reasons, including:
- Care for their own serious health condition
- Care for a family member’s serious health condition
- Bond with a new child during the first year after birth, adoption, or foster care placement
- Deal with the impacts of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking on themselves or a family member
The new law requires employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave in a 12-month period, which they can use intermittently or all at once. If pregnant, an employee may be able to take up to 2 more weeks’ leave. The law provides partial wage replacement during this leave period, which is designed to help employees manage their financial obligations while they are away from work.
How Does the Law Affect Oregon Businesses?
The PFMLA applies to all Oregon employers, regardless of size. This means that if your business has employees in Oregon, you will be required to comply with the new law. However, there are some exemptions for certain types of employees, including:
- Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement
- Certain types of independent contractors
- Certain types of employees who work fewer than 25 hours per week
Employers are responsible for collecting and remitting premiums to the state to fund the program. The premium rate for 2023 is 0.58% of wages, and employees may begin using the benefits starting on January 1, 2023.
How Can Oregon Businesses Stay Compliant with the PFMLA?
To stay compliant with the new law, Oregon businesses will need to do the following:
- Notify employees about the new law – Employers will need to provide written notice to employees about the PFMLA and how it works. The notice must be provided to employees at the time of hire and whenever they become eligible for the program.
- Collect and remit premiums – Employers will be responsible for collecting and remitting premiums to the state. The premium rate for 2023 is 0.58% of wages, and employers will need to report and pay premiums quarterly. Employers with more than 25 employees will also have to pay employer contributions of 0.4% of gross wages.
- Maintain records – Employers will need to maintain records related to the PFMLA, including premiums paid, employee notifications, and any leave taken by employees. These records will need to be retained for at least three years.
- Develop policies and procedures – Employers will need to develop policies and procedures related to the PFMLA, including how to request leave, how to calculate the amount of leave available, and how to manage intermittent leave.
How Can JJH Law Help Oregon Businesses Stay Compliant with the PFMLA?
As an employment law firm in Oregon, we understand that navigating the new Paid Family Medical Leave Act can be challenging for small and medium-sized businesses. That’s why we’re here to help. We can assist businesses in the following ways:
- Review current policies and procedures – We can review your current policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the new law.
- Develop new policies and procedures – We can help you develop new policies and procedures related to the PFMLA, including how to request leave, how to calculate the amount of leave available, and how to manage intermittent leave.
- Provide training – We can provide training to your managers and HR staff to help them understand the new law and how to comply with it.
- Answer questions – We are available to answer any questions you may have about the new law, including how it affects your business and how to stay compliant.
- Represent your business – If your business is facing a dispute related to the PFMLA, we can provide legal representation to help you resolve the issue.
If you have questions about the new Paid Family Medical Leave Act in Oregon or need assistance with compliance, contact JJH Law today. Our experienced attorneys are here to help your business navigate the new law and ensure that you remain in compliance.