Wondering how Paid Leave Oregon will affect your child care business?
Starting January 1, 2023, there is an upcoming change to benefits and paychecks for employees in Oregon, and this will also affect any business owners who run payroll. Those that are self-employed will have the option to opt into this program for themselves. Paid family, medical and safe leave is coming to Oregon in 2023 and enrollment in the program will be automatic for most employees and there is a cost associated with it. Please see the below information about how the program will work, the timelines, and examples of the associated costs.
What is Paid Leave Oregon?
It is a new, state-run program that will allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of paid time off work per year. The aim is to ensure that employees have the time and support they need to care for themselves and their loved ones. Enrollment in the program is mandatory for all Oregon employees.
When does Oregon Paid Leave start?
Employee and employer payroll contributions begin on January 1, 2023. Employees can start applying for benefits on September 3, 2023.
How much are contributions?
If your business employs 25 or more employees, you must participate and pay into the program. Employers and employees share the costs, which means: Employees will have 0.6% deducted from their pre-tax wages. Employers will pay the remaining 0.4%, for a total contribution amount of 1% of wages.
If you are a small employer – with fewer than 25 employees – you are not required to make payments, but you will still need to collect and submit your employees’ contribution of 0.6% of pre-tax wages.
The Employer Toolkit is your “quick start” to better understand your responsibilities and share information about Paid Leave benefits with your employees. This toolkit includes basic downloadable resources and links to get you started.
What if I am self-employed and do not have any employees?
Self employed persons are not automatically enrolled. This means that if you are self-employed, you are not required to pay into the program and you do not get the benefits. But, if you choose, you can elect into the program. Find out more here: https://paidleave.oregon.gov/self-employed/Pages/default.aspx
What is the first thing I need to do as an employer?
There are two important things you can do right now.
- Start telling your employees about the program and the benefits they are eligible for.
- Get ready to start making and collecting payments.
Who is eligible?
All Oregon employees (both full-time and part-time) who have earned at least $1,000 in the prior year may take leave for any of the following reasons:
1. Family Leave
- Birth of a child (you may be able to take up to two more weeks, for a total of 14 weeks)
- Bonding with a child
- To care for a family member with a serious illness or injury
2. Medical Leave
- To care for yourself when you have a serious illness or injury
3. Safe Leave
- For survivors of sexual assaults, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking
How much pay will employees receive while on leave?
Paid Leave Oregon will pay employees a percent of their wages dependent on earnings. Please see the following for an example:
How can you apply for leave?
- Starting in September 2023, you can apply online at https://paidleave.oregon.gov/ or request a paper application.
- If the leave is foreseeable (surgery, adoption etc.), you are required to give NH notice at least 30 days before starting paid leave.
- In an emergency, you are required to notify NH within 24 hours and give written notice within 3 days of starting leave.
What else is important to know?
- If an employee has worked for an employer for at least 90 days, their job is protected while they are on leave.
- To receive benefits, employees cannot simultaneously receive short term disability benefits, workers’ compensation and/or unemployment insurance.
- The employer does not pay employees while they are on leave. Instead, all payments are made through Paid Leave Oregon if the leave has been approved.
- There is no mandatory waiting period when applying for benefits.
To learn more, please check out the official Paid Leave Oregon website at https://paidleave.oregon.gov/. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our business coaches!