Oregon Family Leave
Oregon Family Medical Leave Act (OFMLA)
The Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) is a state regulation that provides additional job protection benefits, to more workers than its federal counterpart, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
OFLA and Pregnancy Disability
he Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), passed by the 1995 Legislature, requires employers of 25 or more employees to provide their workers with job-protected leave to care for themselves or family members in cases of illness, injury, childbirth or adoption. The OFLA anticipates that many couples will experience high-risk pregnancies, premature birth, or give birth to an infant with serious medical conditions.
"An eligible female employee may take up to 36 weeks of OFLA leave in one leave year that includes up to 12 weeks of pregnancy disability leave, followed by 12 weeks of parental leave, and 12 weeks of sick child leave."
One in four pregnancies will experience complications which may require bed rest, which means that mom must stop working. One in eight babies are born prematurely, or require specialized care in Neonatal Intensive Care.
These complications can occur in any pregnancy, but are more common when couples undergo some form of artificial reproductive technique in order to conceive. The frequency of multiple pregnancy is much higher. Multiples often deliver preterm with medical conditions that may require extra care at home.
All of the above illustrates the profound need for couples to purchase supplemental maternity insurance before getting pregnant. 36 weeks of unpaid leave coupled with extra expenses for health insurance premiums, and left over medical bills can be devastating. When you consider the cost/benefit of purchasing coverage for a planned event, the numbers speak for themselves.
Oregon Family Leave Eligibility Guidelines
OFLA eligibility guidelines are broken down into two categories, what conditions qualify, and which employer groups must comply with the act. Employees may take unpaid, job protected leave for 12 weeks for any of the following:
Oregon Paid Family Leave
Oregon regulations do not provide directly for paid family leave. There are several indirect ways that couples can keep income flowing in while not working. Employees must be allowed to use any accumulated sick days, vacation days, or other forms of paid leave benefits. The employee determines if the paid leave benefits are used, and in which order they are taken.
Workers hurt on the job may use workers compensation to provide for paid leave. The time away from work will not count against OFLA unless the worker refused an alternative or light duty assignment.
Short term disability insurance remains the ideal way to provide paid leave benefits for workers using OFLA for their own serious medical condition. Oregon does not have state mandated coverage, but voluntary policies can be paid for by payroll deduction if offered by employers. Since there is no direct cost to employers to offer this coverage, workers concerned about paid leave benefits should ask their employer to make the option available.