OTA Dispatch Issue 3, 2022

22 Oregon Trucking Associations, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch The Country’s Most Generous Paid Leave Program is Coming to Oregon: Are You Prepared? By OTA Allied Partner LaPorte Insurance—Dan Petrillo, Vice President THERE’S A BIG change coming for Oregon employers and employees in 2023. The Oregon Paid Family & Medical Leave program is the most expansive mandatory paid leave program of any state in the country, and it is being implemented in the coming months. Every employer in the state must participate, even if you have one employee. Funded through payroll taxes, both employers and employees will contribute, and private plans are an option as well (more below). The Oregon program provides much broader benefits and fewer restrictions on eligibility than any other existing program in the country. In 2019, Oregon passed legislation establishing a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave Program (PFML) funded through a mandatory payroll tax. The Oregon Employment Department has twice delayed implementation due to COVID-19. Employers must now begin payroll deductions if they are participating in the state plan beginning January 1, 2023. If they are opting out via an approved private insurance plan (see below), they will not be responsible for the payroll tax. The state of Oregon will “pre-fund” this program via the tax beginning January 1. Benefits will not officially begin until September 3, 2023. What is Covered Starting September 3, 2023, Oregon will require all employers in the state to offer employees paid leave for up to 12 weeks (plus two additional weeks in circumstances related to pregnancy), for the following: ` Medical leave for an employee’s own serious health condition. ` Family leave for an employee to care for and bond with their child during the first year after the child’s birth or the first year following the placement of a child through adoption or foster care, and to care for a family member with a serious health condition. ` Safe leave for an employee experiencing issues related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking. Why is This Plan so Generous? ` The OPFML applies to all employers with a single employee working anywhere in the state (excluding only the federal government and a tribal government). ` Eligible employees are those with $1,000 in annual wages, and lowwage earners may receive 100% wage replacement benefits—no length of service or hours of service requirement. ` The program expands the definition of family member to include any person related by blood or whose relationship is “like family.” ` There is no waiting period for paid leave. Unlike other disability plans, OPFML has no wait period before benefits are paid.