Oregon House Passes Paid Family and Medical Leave Measure

June 28, 2019

The State House in Oregon approved a paid family and medical leave insurance program last week that would provide wage replacement for 12 weeks of paid parental leave or leave to deal with personal or family medical issues.

The business community, concerned a voter referendum might result in something more troublesome, was involved in the negotiations, according to The Oregonian.

Who pays?  Employers and employees will split a payroll assessment that’s not to exceed 1%.  Employers with more than 25 employees must cover 40% of the contribution.  Small businesses are exempt from the tax, but their employees will be able to claim the benefit.  The benefits are scaled based on weekly income, with the lowest earners getting 100% of their pay.

Republicans take their leave:  The fate of the paid leave legislation—and the remainder of the legislative docket—are in limbo as the Republicans in the Oregon Senate are missing in action.  The 11 Republicans skipped town to deny the Senate a quorum and to avoid a vote on a climate change bill.  The legislature is scheduled to adjourn on June 30 but Governor Kate Brown (D) is considering calling a special session in July.