Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) is a new program for employees to take paid leave for to care for themselves or family members.
The tax to fund PLO went into effect January 1, 2023. However, employees cannot take paid leave until September 3, 2023.
What are Employers Required to do?
If you co-employ with Cardinal, where Cardinal is the employer of record:
On January 1, 2023 employers were required to give notice of this new law to existing and afterwards to new employees. Cardinal has already provided this notice (insert link) to our Employee Portal and it is part of our new hire paperwork. You should also post this poster in your workplace (insert link to poster).
On September 3, 2023 employers will have to grant leave for those that qualify. Leave time granted is protected in most circumstances. An exception is if the employee has worked for you for less than 90 days before taking leave, the employer does not have to hold open that position.
If you process payroll through Cardinal but you are the employer of record:
Employers will need to provide an employee notice and post the poster.
In addition to this, you will need to administer PLO leave when contacted by the PLO as well as review for leave, provide leave paperwork, track leave(s), and top off leave that can run concurrently with paid leave under the PLO (see guide).
PLO News and Information
How much time can an employee take off?
Generally employees can take off up to 12 weeks (see guide ____ for details and exceptions. Note that leave can be taken off in daily increments.
As an employer, how will I know employees are taking and approved for PLO?
In general, employees are supposed to give a 30 notice for paid leave. However, there are are provisions for a 24 hour notice that can be given verbally with a written notice within 3 days of taking leave. What is not clear is the mechanism that the PLO notifies the employer, presumably the employer of record (Cardinal). When Cardinal is contacted with an approved or declined paid leave notice, we will contact you.
What do employees get paid by the PLO for leave?
There are limits but employees are paid based on pay from the previous year. This amount is determined by the PLO. See this chart as an example (add in link).
Who qualifies for PLO leave?
Oregon employees that have earned at least $1000 in the previous year and that can document the need to take leave based on PLO requirements. An example would be a mother taking leave to give birth and care for a child. Please see ____ for details of what qualifies for PLO leave.
Who determines if leave is approved?
PLO is supposed to request the required paperwork and issue a decision if the employee is qualified to take paid leave.
What if an employee qualifies for PLO but something else like Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)?
Employees may qualify for PLO but also other types of protective leave and run those concurrently. Employees get the protections of any leave they qualify for, whichever is more advantageous to them. Cardinal will administer the other types of leave in coordination of the PLO. Please see the chart below which explains the nuisances of PLO but also OFLA, Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Oregon sick leave.
How do Employees access PLO?
Employees can go to the PLO website, paidleave.oregon.gov, and create an account using Frances Online. Employees can create an account in August 2023.
Event before September 3, 2023 but extends beyond?
If an employee has an event that should qualify but is before September 3, 2023 but extends beyond that date will they qualify?
Based on guidance from the PLO, this employee should qualify for leave as of September 3, 2023.
What type of policy do I need to put in place because of the PLO?
Cardinal recommends that you use our model language if you have your own handbook. If you use our standard handbook we will add this and send it out to all employees where Cardinal is the employer of record.
Paid Leave Oregon Policy Language
Paid Leave Oregon provides paid leave for specified employee and family health needs. Subject to eligibility, the Company provides protected leave as prescribed by the State of Oregon under Paid Leave Oregon. Eligibility is determined by Paid Leave Oregon. To access this benefit, employees must contact Paid Leave Oregon. Employees must provide verbal and/or written notice to the Company within timelines established under Paid Leave Oregon. If an employee’s gross wages are less then what they are being paid under Paid Leave Oregon, and if an employee has available sick, vacation, and/or Paid Time Off, the employee may top off, but not exceed their pre-leave wages or salary.
Please note the last sentence in this policy. According to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, employees can top off PLO payments with paid leave, like sick leave but it is their choice. This is counter to other leaves like OFLA where employers, as a best practice, have employees use up any leave during unpaid protective leave.
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