Oregon’s new family leave policy

The Bureau of Labor Statistic’s National Compensation Survey (NCS) found that approximately 14% of U.S. workers are provided paid family leave by their employers. The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that doesn’t guarantee its workers paid time off to new mothers. Over the past decade, many states have passed laws to support and fund paid family and medical leave programs. California was the first state to pass paid family leave laws in 2004, followed by the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Washington, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

On August 9th, Oregon became the eighth state in the country to pass a paid family leave bill. Oregon’s new law will begin in 2023, which includes 12 weeks of paid time off to new parents, victims of domestic violence and those who become ill or need to care for a sick family member. Other highlights of the new family leave law:

  • First state to offer 100% wage replacement for minimum-wage, part-time workers
  • A person must make $1,000 in wages to qualify for the program
  • Workers will also be able to take paid leave in non-consecutive increments
  • This benefit will be funded by a small payroll tax, no more than 1% contributions from both employees and employers
  • Small businesses with less than 25 employees will not have to pay into the program, although their workers will still receive benefits

In case you missed it. A few months ago, we spoke with Dr. David HurtadoDr. Julia Goodman and Dr. Dawn Richardson on public health research affecting policy change, current issues and concerns on parental leave and their evaluation of a parental leave policy that was recently implemented for all Multnomah County employees. Find the podcast episode and transcript on our podcast page. Also, hear from Dr. Julia Goodman on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s, “Think Out Loud” featuring her research on health outcomes and other effects of paid family medical leave.

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