Paid Family Leave Is Coming to Oregon

 

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Many Oregon workers will be eligible for paid family and medical leave benefits starting in 2023. Lawmakers in the state recently passed HB 2005, and Gov. Kate Brown said she will sign the bill into law.

Oregon is the eighth state to approve paid family and medical leave benefits, following California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington. Washington, D.C. lawmakers have also approved such leave.

We've rounded up the latest news on this topic. Here are SHRM Online resources and news articles from other trusted media outlets.

Most Workers Covered

The Oregon bill will provide workers who make more than $1,000 a year with 12 weeks of paid leave to care for their own illness or a sick family member; for baby bonding; or to deal with issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or harassment. The plan will offer low-income workers with full wage replacement and partial wage replacement for other workers, depending on their income level. Businesses with at least 25 workers and their employees will be required to contribute to the program.

(KTVZ)

Heated Legislative Session Ended Close to Deadline

The Oregon legislative session closed about six hours before it would have been automatically shut down under the state constitution. With Democratic supermajorities in both chambers, the legislature passed a business tax for schools, new rules to assist renters, juvenile justice reform, diesel emission limits, and other priorities in addition to the paid family and medical leave program. The paid leave plan passed after advocates and Democrats negotiated a deal with large employers in the state.

(Oregon Live)

SHRM Urges Employers to Share Concerns with Lawmakers

Employers should ensure that state and federal lawmakers hear their opinions about proposed legislation, urged Lisa Horn, vice president for congressional affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). "Paid leave and flexible work options help attract and maintain an engaged, productive workforce," she said, "but a fragmented patchwork of state and local leave requirements creates a compliance conundrum, [and] rigid government mandates stifle employer flexibility and innovation."

(SHRM Online)

Employers Boost Benefits to Win and Keep Top Talent

Many businesses are enhancing their employee benefits to recruit and retain highly qualified employees in a competitive labor market, according to data from SHRM's 2019 employee benefits survey. Employers continue to offer generous paid leave for new parents, with about a third (34 percent) of organizations offering paid leave to mothers and slightly fewer (30 percent) to fathers. One organization in five reported offering family leave, paid or unpaid, beyond what is required by both the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and state mandates.

(SHRM Online)

How Much Parental Leave Is Too Much?

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will halve the amount of paid parental leave it offers employees, reducing it from 52 weeks to 26 weeks. The reduction raises the questions: How much parental leave is enough, and how much may be too much? "More than six months, but less than a year, may truly be the sweet spot in terms of ideal length of maternity leave," according to Working Mother magazine.

(SHRM Online)

[Visit SHRM's resource page on paid time off.]

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