Oregon Residents Could Receive Up to 12 Weeks of Paid Time Off For Medical/Family Leave Starting August 14th
Have you had a newborn you haven’t been able to spend time with, or a surgery you’ve had to miss weeks of work for? These things can break your bank, especially with unexpected losses or medical accidents that require time off. Well, it may not be something you’ll have to face in the future thanks to a new program.
Starting August 14th, Oregon residents will be able to apply for the Paid Leave Oregon program. If approved, applicants can receive up to 12 weeks of paid time off for either medical or family leave. Not only that, but leave can also apply to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, because no one should be working after having gone through something so horrific.
Paid Leave Oregon staff predict their initial influx of claims will be around 41,000, and they’re more than ready to take on the challenge. They currently have 250 staff to process applications and answer phone calls, so if you would like to make a claim, they will be on the line for you.
So how is this being paid for? Well, the state began building up money for the fund through workers and employers having to pay an automatic 1% contribution split between the two groups.
Not all paid leaves will look the same, of course. It all depends on income before the leave even begins. The more money you make, the less you’ll receive in paid leave.
The qualifications are surprisingly simple: you’ve only needed to earn $1000 within the past year, no matter if it’s full-time or part-time, and you have a decent shot at being approved. You should clear some time for the paperwork, though, as it can take up to an hour to get all the information. You also need to let your employer know about your planned leave at least a month ahead of time, or in the case of an emergency, within 24 hours.
The paid leave is used at the worker’s discretion, whether they want to just take it for a day or use it all in one go. It all depends on their needs and is not affected by a company’s policy. That means no oversight on your private matters.
So is it really that simple? According to Karen Humelbaugh, the director at Paid Leave Oregon, it is.
“You just notify your company, ‘I am planning to apply for Paid Leave Oregon,’ then you would go to our Frances Online portal. You apply through that,”
Humelbaugh said, explaining the process.
“You would have to upload documentation to show what your condition is and how much leave you need, for what amount of time, and when you would start it. Then we would go through our eligibility process in the background and be able to hopefully approve that leave.”
You can find out how to apply on the Oregon Employment Department website.