Oregon: Paid Leave Final Rules Adopted


All Employers with Employees in OR


January 12, 2024


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Quick Look

  • The Oregon Employment Department issued final rules for Paid Leave Oregon.
  • The final rules provide clarifications for safe leave documentation, affinity status of a family member, job protection, health insurance premium repayment, equivalent plans and reporting, and dispute resolution.


The Oregon Employment Department (OED) issued final rules for Paid Leave Oregon (PLO). PLO went into effect on January 1, 2023, and applies to employers that have at least one employee in Oregon. It provides employees with paid time off from work to care for and bond with a child following the child’s birth or adoption, to recover from a serious health condition or care for a family member’s serious health condition, or to take leave if the employee or the employee’s family member has experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment. The final rules provide clarifications for implementing PLO.


Safe Leave. Due to HB 3443, which amended Oregon’s domestic violence leave law to include protected leave for victims of bias crimes, employees seeking PLO for the same purposes must provide certain specific verification in order to take safe leave. Employees taking PLO for reasons related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, stalking or bias must provide one of the following:


  • a copy of a federal agency, state, local, or tribal police report indicating the employee was a victim;
  • a copy of a protective order or other evidence from enforcement agencies or an attorney that the employee or employee’s child appeared in, or was preparing to appear, in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding as a victim; or
  • documentation from an attorney, law enforcement officer, healthcare provider, licensed mental health professional or counselor, member of the clergy, or employee of the U.S. Department of Justice that the employee is undergoing treatment or counseling or relocating as a result of being a victim.


Affinity Status of Family Member. PLO allows leave to be taken for the care of someone “related to the employee by blood or anyone who lives with or is connected to the employee like a family member.” The new rules provide the following factors to determine whether such a relationship exists:


  • shared personal financial responsibility, including shared leases, common ownership of real or personal property, joint liability for bills, or beneficiary designations;
  • emergency contact designation of the employee by the other individual in the relationship, or vice versa;
  • the expectation to provide care because of the relationship or the prior provision of care;
  • cohabitation and its duration and purpose;
  • geographical proximity; and
  • other factors that demonstrate the existence of a family-like relationship.


No single factor is given significant weight. Instead, OED will consider the “totality of the circumstances” to determine if a family relationship exists.


Job Protection. PLO is job protected leave. If the employee’s position no longer exists when they return from leave, a larger employer must offer an employee any available equivalent position with the same pay and benefits at a job site located within 50 miles of the job site of the employee’s previous position. A large employer is defined as those that employ 25 or more employees worldwide.


Health Insurance Premium Repayment. Employers who pay part of the employee’s share of health insurance premiums while the employee is on PLO leave can deduct the payments from the employee’s future paychecks until the premiums paid by the employer are repaid. Only up to 10% of the employee’s gross pay each pay period can be deducted for repayment.


Equivalent Plans and Reporting. Employers providing PLO benefits through an equivalent private plan can use third party administrators. However, those employers must still follow reporting requirements and file annual aggregate benefit usage reports including, but not limited to, the number of benefit applications received, approved, or denied during the reporting period, the qualifying purpose, and the total amount of leave. Employers who are paying part of the cost of the equivalent plan and withhold employee contributions must also report the total amount of employee contributions withheld during the reporting period, total plan expenses paid during the reporting period, and the balance of employee contributions held in trust at the end of the reporting period.


Dispute Resolution. The OED may conduct an administrative hearing to resolve disputes between employers or equivalent plan administrators and employees regarding coverage and benefits. If the parties cannot resolve the dispute themselves, then either party can request an administrative hearing with the OED. The OED will review the dispute and issue a determination. If the employer or plan administrator disagree with the determination, then the employee may submit a wage claim with the Bureau of Labor and Industries.


Action Items

  1. Read the final rules here.
  2. Have leave policies updated to include additional requirements or clarifications.
  3. Have appropriate personnel trained on the requirements.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2024 ManagEase