Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program May Be Delayed
The Oregon Employment Department (ED) has requested legislation to delay the implementation of the paid family and medical leave program (PFML) that was originally enacted in 2019. Contributions were set to begin on take effect January 1, 2022, but may be delayed by one year if the proposed legislation is enacted (H.B. 3398).
Proposed Timeline Due to Pandemic
The ED explains that it is seeking to delay the PFML implementation schedule due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year, the agency shifted its entire focus to administering unemployment insurance benefits.
Under the proposed legislation, the ED would issue PFML regulations by September 1, 2022 (currently September 1, 2021), employers would begin withholding and remitting contributions on January 1, 2023 (currently January 1, 2022), and eligible employees would be able to receive benefits beginning September 1, 2023 (currently January 1, 2023).
PFML Program Basics
The PFML program will provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave from work for an employee to recover from a serious illness, care for a family member who is ill, or bond with a newborn or newly adopted child. Employee and employer contributions will be remitted quarterly. The ED will determine the percentage, which cannot exceed 1% of employee wages, up to a maximum of $132,900 (this is the amount of the 2019 social security wage base; this may be changed in future regulations). Employers will be responsible for 60% of the total rate (0.60%) and employees will be responsible for 40% of the total rate (0.40%).
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Lia Coniglio, Esq., is Managing Editor of PayState Update and Manager of State Payroll Information Resources for the APA.