In 2019, Oregon became the eighth state to adopt a paid family and medical leave insurance (PFMLI) program. This new program allows workers to take paid time off for qualifying reasons, including caring for a newborn or adopted child, recovering from serious illness, and taking care of a loved one who has experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Employees and employers will make contributions to the Paid Leave Oregon state fund, starting on Jan. 1. Employers with 25 or more employees will pay 60% of the employer contribution rate, while employees will pay 40%. Funding for the program comes from a 1% payroll tax, shared equally by employees and employers. Employees contribute no more than 0.6% of their wages up to a maximum of $132,900 in annual earnings.
Employers with fewer than 25 employees can opt to contribute to the program by submitting an application to the Oregon Employment Department (OED). Square Payroll supports PFL premium calculations, withholdings, payments, and reporting. We’ll help you stay compliant by ensuring your team members’ payments are properly reported on their W-2s and withholding the correct amount from each paycheck. Then, we’ll process your employers’ contributions to the PFL fund via the OED’s Frances Online system.
The website provides downloadable resources that are helpful for employees and employers, including guides to using the system and tools for verifying serious health conditions. It also provides FAQs and a timeline. Employers must change their payroll processes to calculate and pay contributions into the program. This includes small employers who choose to participate. Employees can be full-time, part-time or seasonal and may work for one or more employers. Self-employed individuals are not automatically covered but can choose to participate.
Upon returning to work, your job and position must be available and comparable to the one you left for unless it is medically necessary. You can also take additional unpaid leave for certain circumstances, such as caring for a child with a life-threatening illness.
Most employees who work in Oregon for at least 90 days and earn at least $1,000 in a calendar year are eligible for Paid Leave Oregon. Some exceptions include independent contractors, certain government employees, and those covered by existing employer-provided paid leave programs that meet specific requirements.
How Does it Work?
Funding for the program comes from a 1% payroll tax, shared equally by employees and employers. Employees contribute no more than 0.6% of their wages up to a maximum of $132,900 in annual earnings.
Employees can apply for leave directly through the Paid Leave Oregon online portal. Once approved, they receive weekly benefit payments directly from the program.