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Oregon Bill Proposed to Streamline Family Leave Laws 

Oregon Senate Bill (SB 1515) passed the state legislature on February 27, 2024, and is awaiting the governor’s signature. SB 1515 is intended to reduce redundancy by eliminating duplications between the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) and Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) programs and clarifying how OFLA and PLO interact with paid time off (PTO) benefits offered by employers. In addition, SB 1515 will amend Oregon’s predictive scheduling law. If signed, it will take effect on July 1, 2024.  

Key highlights of SB 1515 are outlined below.

Eliminating Duplication of Leave Under OFLA and PLO by: 

  • Eliminating most (but not all) of the qualifying reasons for OFLA leave that are duplicated under PLO. Eligible employees would still be able to take protected, unpaid leave under the OFLA for employee health conditions related to pregnancy and for qualifying reasons that are not covered under PLO, such as bereavement leave and sick child leave.  
  • Permitting employees to continue to be eligible to take up to two weeks of OFLA leave to effectuate the legal process for fostering or adopting a child until January 2025, when this reason for leave will become available only under PLO. 
  • Clarifying that PLO would be in addition to, and not taken concurrently with, OFLA leave as the elimination of redundant reasons for leave under both laws would make concurrent leave unavailable. 

Use of Paid Time Off with PLO 

Clarifying that employees taking PLO would be entitled to use any accrued sick leave, vacation, or other employer-provided PTO benefit to “true up” the wage-replacement benefit they receive from the Oregon Employment Department so that they receive a full wage replacement while on PLO. 

Amendments to Predictive Scheduling Law 

SB 1515 will also amend Oregon’s predictive scheduling law to address times when a covered employer has less than 14 days’ notice that an employee absent on OFLA leave or PLO will return to work, in which case, the employer may change the schedule of the employee who was temporarily assigned to cover specific shifts of the employee who is returning from leave without incurring an obligation to pay additional compensation to the rescheduled employee under the predictive scheduling law. 

Next Steps 

These adjustments should make compliance with both laws easier for employers. If passed, employers should review and update their existing leave policies and procedures to comply with each of these leave laws. Employers that are covered under the FMLA would still be permitted to require employees to take FMLA leave concurrently with Paid Leave Oregon or OFLA for any FMLA-qualifying reason. 

How HR Works Can Help 

Managing employee leaves of absence is overwhelming and the myriad of different laws can be extremely difficult to navigate, especially when leave is not your primary focus. The experts at HR Works can manage the complexities of compliance when it comes to all the changing state leave laws and more. To learn more about these services and how to leverage our compliance expertise and support, please contact us at info@hrworks-inc.com or call 1-877-219-9062.   

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.