Oregon has enacted a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI) Program, which will provide paid leave benefits to eligible Oregon employees starting September 3, 2023. Contributions to the state administered program to begin effective January 1, 2023.
The Oregon PFMLI Program allows for alternate plan options for businesses to consider in meeting their obligations under the law. To help ensure an optimal experience for employees, businesses must choose between the state-run plan, or a private plan for their Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave (OR PFML) coverage. If your business is considering a private plan, now is the time to explore your options. See below for more information to assist you in meeting your obligations as an Oregon employer.
An employee who works for a covered employers becomes eligible for OR PFML benefits after they have earned at least $1,000 in wages, subject to premium contribution, during the year prior to claiming benefits.
Eligible employees can take paid leave for the following leave types/qualified reasons:
Covered family member includes spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
OR PFML requires employers providing the mandated PFML coverage using the state program to begin payroll deductions starting January 1, 2023.
Employers can participate in the state-run program, or seek approval to offer a private plan option, either a self-insured or fully insured private PFML plan.
If an employer opts out of the program, the employer will need to adhere to the established guidelines and requirements set forth by the state to apply for approval to offer a private plan coverage. The “equivalent plan” they choose to provide must:
Important dates for 2023:
January 1, 2023:
February 28, 2023 – Deadline to file Equivalent Plan Application to be exempt from paying contributions to the state effective April 1, 2023.
May 31, 2023: Deadline to file the Equivalent Plan Application for employers that submitted a Declaration of Intent. Once approval has been received, all contributions withheld may be refunded to employees. Employers who did not submit a Declaration of Intent can also file an Equivalent Plan Application by this date to be exempt from paying contributions to the state effective July 1,
June 30, 2023: If an employer has not yet received an Equivalent Plan approval, they will be defaulted to the State plan and be required to remit both employee and employer contributions to the state, retroactive to 1/01/2023. Employers are prohibited from retroactively withholding contributions from employees’ wages.
Oregon covered employers are required to provide written notice to all eligible employees of their duties and rights under the OR PFML program in addition to other required disclosures. The notice must be provided to an employee in the language the employer typically uses to communicate with the employee. The Director of Oregon’s Employment Department has provided a model notice for the employer’s use to meet this obligation.
Guardian will be offering a fully insured private plan option for OR PFML coverage, effective September 3, 2023. An employer is expected to be able to apply to the state for approval starting September 2022.
You can count on:
The state of Oregon under the Employment Department is currently developing its PFML regulations, including specifics on how its program will be implemented. We are actively collaborating with the state of Oregon, monitoring all developments as they become available. We help keep our customers and brokers informed every step of the way.
Effective employee leave management is key to ensuring your business remains compliant with state laws, helping you avoid costly fines.
Guardian has provided employers with statutory disability plans for more than a decade, taking a consultative approach to bring resources together for successful PFML plan implementation and management, no matter the level of complexity. Our management of PFML plans help ensure that any Human Resources team can meet the challenge of efficiently managing employee leaves while easing administrative burden and enhancing compliance. Our plans are fully insured, state-approved, and backed by digital capabilities designed to help make administration easier.
Further, our Guardian absence management solutions can help reduce the administrative burden and enhance compliance with the integrated management of STD and LTD benefits, state and federal family medical leaves, and company leaves. Available to companies with 50 or more employees, employers can choose from a variety of plans and service options, including ADA support.
To learn more about Guardian leave management services or reach out to your Guardian group sales consultant or broker.