The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has recently released guidance on the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) in the form of frequently asked questions.
The OFLA requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide employees with unpaid job protected leave to care for themselves or their family members. Under OFLA, employees can take up to 12 weeks per year for:
- Parental leave: For the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. If an employee uses all 12 weeks for this purpose, they can take up to 12 more weeks for sick child leave.
- Serious health condition: For the employee's own condition, or to care for a spouse, parent, parent-in-law, or child.
- Pregnancy disability leave: Before or after the birth of child or for prenatal care. Employees can take up to 12 weeks of this leave in addition to 12 weeks for any of the other reasons listed here.
- Sick child leave: For an employee's child with an illness or injury that requires home care but is not serious. Employees can also take OFLA protected time if their child's school or provider is closed due to a statewide public health emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic school closures.
Additional reasons for leave:
- Military family leave: Up to 14 days if the employee's spouse is a service member who has been called to active duty or is on leave from active duty.
- Bereavement leave: Up to two weeks of leave after the death of a family member.
New Guidance Issued March 2021:
BOLI has recently issued frequently asked questions clarifying various provisions of the OFLA. A brief summary is provided below.
Use of Accrued Paid Time Off:
The guidance explains that employers can require employees to use accrued paid leave during OFLA leave. It also indicates that an employer may choose the order in which employees may use the leave as long as the employer provides the employee written notice that accrued paid leave is to be used during OFLA leave. The notice must be provided prior to the start of the leave, or within five business days of the employee's notice when leave is unforeseeable.
School Closures During Public Health Emergency:
The FAQs also address what is considered a school closure for purposes of sick child leave. The guidance says that if access to the physical location where the child receives instruction or care is closed due to a public health emergency, the school or child care provider is "closed" for purposes of OFLA sick child leave. This is true even if instruction is being provided online or whether, through another format such as "distance learning," the child is still expected or required to complete assignments.
Employers should review the guidance in full and ensure their policies and practices comply. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.