Oregon Leave Law
In addition to rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), all employees in the state of Oregon are protected by a state version of the FMLA. The state version offers certain provisions that are more generous than the federal law. Below is a brief summary of the Oregon law.
If you are considering taking leave, consult with your Human Resource Office for additional details.
STATE FAMILY LEAVE
Who Is Eligible?
Generally, you are eligible for State Family Leave if:
- Your employer employs 25 or more people for each working day during each of at least 20 work weeks during the year you take leave or the year immediately preceding.
- You have worked for your employer for at least 180 days immediately preceding the date your leave would commence.
- You have worked for your employer for at least 25 hours per week during the 180 days immediately preceding the date your leave would commence.
Exception: If you are taking leave to care for an infant or newly adopted or foster child (see below, "Legitimate Reasons To Use Leave"), requirement #3 does not apply.
What Are Legitimate Reasons To Use Leave?
- To recover from or seek treatment for your own serious health condition that renders you unable to perform at least one of the essential functions of your regular position.
- To care for an infant or newly adopted child under age 18, or for a newly placed foster child under age 18, or for an adopted or foster child older than 18 if the child is incapable of caring for him or herself due to a mental or physical disability (leave must be completed within 12 months of birth or placement).
- To care for a family member with a serious health condition.
- To care for your child who is suffering from an illness, injury or condition that is not a serious health condition but that requires home care.
How Much Leave Will I Get?
- All eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of leave within any one-year period.
- in addition, a female employee may take 12 weeks within any one-year period for an illness, injury or condition related to pregnancy or childbirth that disables her from performing any available job duties offered by the employer.
- And, an employee who takes 12 weeks of leave to care for an infant or newly adopted/foster child, may take up to an additional 12 weeks within the one-year period to care for his/her child suffering from a non-serious health condition requiring home care (reason #4, above).
What Notice Is Required?
Generally, your employer may require that you give written notice at least 30 days before commencing family leave. However, in the following circumstances, leave without prior notice is permitted:
- You or a family member experiences an unexpected serious health condition.
- Your child experiences an unexpected illness, injury or condition that requires home care.
- A premature birth, unexpected adoption or unexpected foster placement.
If you do start leave without giving prior notice, you must give oral notice within 24 hours and must provide written notice within 3 days after returning to work. The oral notice may be given by any person on your behalf.
Are Their Penalties For Not Giving Notice?
If you fail to give either prior written notice or oral notice, your employer may reduce your leave eligibility by 3 weeks and you may be subject to disciplinary action.
Is A Doctor's Note Required?
Generally, your employer may require medical verification from a healthcare provider concerning your need for leave.
Exception: This requirement does not apply for leave taken in conjunction with a birth or placement of your child.
Exception: If you are taking leave to provide care for your child who has a non-serious health condition, but requires home care, your employer may require medical verification only after you have taken more than 3 days of leave for that purpose during any one-year period.
Is My Job Protected While I Am On Leave?
Upon returning from leave, you are entitled to be restored to the position you held before leave if that position still exists (regardless of whether your employer filled your position with a replacement worker during your leave).
If your former position no longer exists, you are entitled to be restored to any available position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment. If no such equivalent position is available at your former job site, you may be offered an equivalent position at a job site within 20 miles of your former site.
What Happens To My Benefits While On Leave?
Taking family leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit you accrued prior to the commencement of your leave.
For More Details
Researched and written by:
Lisa Gerson, Esq. McDermott Will & Emery LLP New York, NY