The total ceiling is 1% of wages; employees pay 60% and employers 40% from January 1 for benefits in September 2023.
The Oregon Department of Employment has set an initial cap on employer and employee contributions to the state’s new paid family medical leave program at 1% of wages.
The new payments will begin on January 1, 2023. Employees will contribute 60% of the new trust fund – their contributions will be deducted from their salary – and employers will contribute 40%. Program director Karen Madden Humelbaugh said the fund must be large enough to pay benefits for six months.
The first benefits are scheduled for payment on September 3, 2023.
The law requires that rates be set annually. Madden Humelbaugh said it’s possible future rates could be lower, depending on the use of the fund.
Only employers contribute to the state unemployment benefit trust fund, which is also overseen by the Department of Employment.
The first phase of the modernization of its computer system by the agency, which starts in July, will take into account employers’ social charges for unemployment benefits and family leave, and employee contributions for family leave. (Employers are allowed to pay out stock to employees as a benefit.)
Oregon has had a family leave program since 1991, although it is largely unpaid, except that employers may have discretionary funds. The Legislature approved a paid vacation program in 2019, and last year lawmakers extended initial deadlines for implementation.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 states and Washington, DC have or are beginning a paid family leave program.
Madden Humelbaugh said Oregon’s program, unlike others, will cover survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and harassment under “safety leave.”
“With this contribution rate, we will be able to provide paid leave to people at a critical time in their lives when it is not safe for them to be at work,” she said.
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