By: Danielle Meyer, MSS
Oregon’s new Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) plan is being celebrated as the most progressive and inclusive leave policy in the nation. And now that the measure was officially signed into law by Governor Brown, let’s clarify what it means for employees and businesses.
While the plan was signed into law this week, coverage under the new PFML law begins for employees on January 1, 2023.
The program will be partially funded by a small payroll contribution from all Oregon employees, beginning January 1, 2022.
Employers with 26 or more employees who are not otherwise exempt will also contribute funding.
The new law mandates 12 weeks of PFML in any combination of medical leave, family leave, or safe leave (for victims of domestic violence). Total paid and unpaid leave will be extended to 16 weeks—compared to the previous 12 week cap—and to 18 weeks for mothers experiencing complications from pregnancy or childbirth.
PFML will allow time off for personal, family, or “close associate” medical needs. It covers 100% of salaries for workers earning minimum wage.
One area where Oregon’s PFML law is truly groundbreaking is its “safe leave” allowance, providing paid leave to individuals experiencing domestic violence or abuse. Oregon and New Jersey are now the only states in the nation to provide paid leave to victims of abuse. While it’s still unclear how safe leave eligibility may be determined, this is an incredibly important step toward supporting victims and providing them the support to find safety and security—something our state should be commended for.