The Oregon Paid Leave program is set to begin collecting payments from employers beginning in 2023. The program and employer responsibilities are detailed below.
Important dates to know
- By January 1, 2023, Employers are required to post the model notice poster at each work site and they must provide it electronically or by mail to any remote workers. Download the model notice poster found on the resources page.
- On January 1, 2023, if your business has 25 or more employees, you will start paying into the program.
- On September 3, 2023, employees can start applying for benefits.
Who is Paid Leave Oregon for and how does it work?
If your business employs 25 or more employees, you will participate and pay into the program. Employers and employees share the costs, which means you will pay 40% of the contribution and your employees will pay 60%.
Individuals who work full-time, seasonal, or part-time jobs, and those who work for more than one employer, will pay into the program.
If you are a small employer – with fewer than 25 employees – you are not required to make payments, but you will still need to collect and submit your employees’ contribution.
The program at a glance
Who’s eligible for Paid Leave?
- Employees who made $1,000 or more the year before applying for Paid Leave and are experiencing an event that qualifies them for paid leave may be eligible (Learn more about qualifying events below.)
- Whether an employee works a full-time, part-time, or seasonal job – or for more than one employer – they may be eligible.
- Those who are self-employed, independent contractors, or Tribal governments can choose to elect into the program but do not have to.
What are the benefits of Paid Leave?
- An employee can take up to 12 weeks off from work in a year. In some situations, they may be able to take up to two more weeks, for a total of 14 weeks.
- While on leave, Paid Leave Oregon pays the employee an amount of their wages. You, as the employer, do not pay them.
- The amount an employee gets paid will depend on how much they have earned. Some employees may receive 100% wage replacement.
- Employees’ jobs are protected. It is against the law for employers to treat any employee badly or to fire them for taking time off through Paid Leave Oregon.
- Employees have the right to return to the same job role if they’ve worked for you for more than 90 days.
How is Paid Leave Oregon paid for?
Paid Leave Oregon is a program we all pay into and benefit from. Employees and their employers share the payments.
- Employees pay 60% of the contribution, while employers with 25 or more employees pay 40% of the contribution rate.
- The contribution rate for 2023 is 1%.
- The employee’s amount is taken out of their paycheck. The contribution amount is decided before the beginning of each year by the Oregon Employment Department and will not be more than 1% of their gross wages. For example, if an employee’s paycheck totals $1,000 dollars, they would pay $6 as their portion of the contribution for that paycheck.
- Employers with 25 or more employees pay 40% of the 1% contribution rate. For example, if your business has more than 25 employees and pays $1 million in payroll, your business would pay $10,000 into Paid Leave Oregon each year. Of that amount, $6,000 would come from employees’ earnings and $4,000 from employers.
- While an employee is out on leave, you are not responsible for paying their wages. The Paid Leave Oregon program would pay eligible employees an amount of their wages.
What life events qualify you for Paid Leave?
There are certain events that happen in an employee’s life or in a family member’s life that keep them from working and qualify them for Paid Leave.
Tools for getting ready
As an employer, you play an important role in making sure those who work for you have the information they need so they – and your business – can stay healthy. Paid Leave Oregon takes care of all the program details, like deciding who is eligible, managing claims and paying the benefits.
Your role and responsibilities
As an employer, you’re responsible for posting a notice that tells your employees about Paid Leave Oregon, including:
Their rights; How to file a claim; and That their job is protected.
- You are responsible for letting employees take time off if they are approved through Paid Leave Oregon.
- You are responsible for giving employees back their job when they return (if they’ve worked for you for at least 90 days).
- You are not responsible for making payments into Paid Leave Oregon if you are a small employer with fewer than 25 employees.
- Your employees will still pay their portion and get the same benefits. You will need to collect and submit their payments.
- You are not responsible for deciding if an employee is eligible or managing any employee claims. Paid Leave Oregon takes care of that.
- You are not responsible for paying your employees when they take Paid Leave. Paid Leave Oregon pays them an amount while they take time off.
How to plan ahead
Step 1: Prepare to make payments.
Employers pay 40% of the contribution rate. Based on the number of employees you have and the amount you pay in salaries, you can calculate ahead of time how much you will need to pay. For example, if your business has more than 25 employees and pays $1 million in payroll, you would pay $10,000 into Paid Leave Oregon each year. Of that amount, 40% totals $4,000. That’s how much you will pay.
You must post a notice for your employees about Paid Leave Oregon
Step 2: Get ready to collect payments.
Employees fund 60% of the program’s costs through their paychecks.
If your business already uses a payroll company, they can subtract the employee’s contribution so you don’t have to.
There are a few things you need to keep doing during the year:
- Step 1: Let your employees know about Paid Leave Oregon and the latest updates.
- Step 2: Make your employer payments (unless you are a small employer with fewer than 25 employees).
- Step 3: Collect payments from your employees’ paychecks.
- Step 4: Other compliance requirements – more information coming soon.
A small employer is a business or organization with fewer than 25 employees. Here’s what you need to know:
- Your employees will participate in the program, no matter the size of your business.
- As a small employer, you are not required to pay the employer portion of Paid Leave Oregon contributions but you will still need to submit your employees’ portions.
- Even though you do not make payments, your employees are still covered and get the same benefits.
- Payments are still taken from their paychecks, and you’ll still collect and submit them.
- If you choose to make the employer payments, you can apply for an assistance grant that helps cover costs, such as hiring a temporary worker when an employee takes leave.
What is an “Equivalent plan?”
An Equivalent plan is a plan the Oregon Employment Department approved, which provides benefits that are equal to or greater than the benefits Paid Leave Oregon provides. If you already offer paid leave to your employees or are thinking about doing so, you can apply for it to be an Equivalent plan.
Please keep in mind that an Equivalent plan means:
- You must offer the same or more benefits that Paid Leave Oregon offers.
- You cannot deduct more from employee’s contributions than Paid Leave Oregon.
You must first have the Oregon Employment Department approve the plan.