Oregon’s New Paid Leave Program

Courtesy of Deposit Photos

This year, Oregon is joining approximately 12 states in offering a much-heralded paid leave program. Paid Leave Oregon, which was approved by lawmakers in 2019 — but delayed because of the pandemic — will provide up to 12 weeks of paid time off to employees. The program covers paid leave in three categories: after the birth or adoption of a child (including for non-birthing partners); serious illness or injury, including taking care of a seriously ill or injured family member; and for survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault. Plus, according to the state, people who are pregnant and have given birth, or have birth-related health issues, may be able to take 14 weeks of paid leave. In short, it’s great news for everyone who could use some (paid) time to adjust after a major life event.

In January, the state began collecting money from larger businesses and workers for the program. While funds for Paid Leave Oregon are already rolling in, Oregonians won’t officially be able to take paid time off until this September.

Virtually all employees are covered under Paid Leave Oregon. This also includes self-employed business owners, contractors and tribal members. The new program fills a critical gap for families, particularly low-wage workers who often don’t receive paid time off.

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Tiffany Hill
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