Family and Medical Leave in Oregon

Oregon employees may be entitled to time off under the federal FMLA, as well as several state laws that provide for family and medical leave.

By , J.D., UC Berkeley School of Law

Employers in Oregon—like employers in every state—must follow the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave for certain reasons. Once an employee's FMLA leave is over, the employee has the right to be reinstated to his or her position.

Oregon laws also give employees the right to take time off for family and medical reasons. Employees are entitled to the protections of all applicable laws; if more than one law applies, the employee may use the most beneficial provisions.

Federal FMLA Rights

Oregon employees who are eligible may take up to 12 weeks of leave for serious health conditions, bonding with a new child, or preparation for a family member's military service; more leave is available for employees who need to care for a family member who was seriously injured on active military duty. For detailed information on FMLA leave, see Taking Family and Medical Leave.

Who Is Covered?

Employers in Oregon are subject to the FMLA if they have at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year.

Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if:

  • they have worked for the company for at least a year
  • they worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year, and
  • they work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

Reasons for Leave

FMLA leave is available if an employee needs time off to:

  • bond with a new child
  • recuperate from a serious health condition
  • care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • handle qualifying exigencies arising out of a family member's military service, or
  • care for a family member who suffered a serious injury during active duty in the military. (You can find more information on these last two types of leave in Military Family Leave for Employees.)

How Much Leave Is Available?

Oregon employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for a serious health condition, bonding with a new child, or qualifying exigencies. This leave is available every 12 months, as long as the employee continues to meet the eligibility requirements explained above.

Employees may take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period for military caregiver leave. However, this is a per-injury, per-service member entitlement. Unless the same family member is injured again, or another family member suffers an injury while on active duty, an employee may not take additional leave for this purpose.

Leave and Reinstatement Rights

Employees are entitled to continue their health insurance while on leave, at the same cost they must pay while working. FMLA leave is unpaid, but employees may be allowed (or required) to use their accrued paid leave during FMLA leave. When an employee's FMLA leave ends, the employee is entitled to be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position, with a few exceptions.

Oregon Family and Medical Leave Laws

In addition to the rights granted by the FMLA, Oregon employees have the right to take time off under several state laws.

Oregon Family and Medical Leave

Employers with at least 25 employees must give time off to eligible employees for these reasons:

  • for the birth or adoption of a child, or the placement of a foster child
  • to care for a family member with a serious health condition (family members include parents-in-law, domestic partners, grandparents, grandchildren, and the parents and children of domestic partners)
  • to deal with the death of a family member (up to two weeks per death of a loved one may be used for these purposes)
  • for the employee's own serious health condition
  • for prenatal care or pregnancy disability, or
  • to care for a sick child who does not have a serious health condition but requires care at home. (Leave is available for this reason only if there is no other family member who is willing and able to care for the child.)

Employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave in any one-year period for these reasons, with the following additional entitlements:

  • An employee who takes 12 weeks of leave for any other reason listed above may take an additional 12 weeks of pregnancy disability leave.
  • An employee who takes 12 weeks of parental leave may take an additional 12 weeks of sick child leave.
  • An employee may combine these entitlements to take up to 36 weeks of leave: 12 for pregnancy disability, 12 for parental leave, and 12 for sick child leave.

Oregon Domestic Violence Leave

Employers with at least six employees must give eligible employees who are victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking a reasonable amount of leave to:

  • seek legal remedies or the assistance of law enforcement, including a protective order
  • seek medical treatment or recuperate from injuries
  • attend counseling
  • obtain services from a victim services provider, or
  • relocate or make the home safe.

Military Family Leave in Oregon

Employers with at least 25 employees must give time off to eligible employees with a spouse or same-sex domestic partner who is in the military and has been notified of an impending call to active duty or impending period of leave from deployment. Employees are entitled to up to 14 days of leave; this leave counts against the employee's 12-week entitlement to Oregon Family and Medical Leave, described above.

Oregon Sick Leave

All Oregon employers are required to provide employees with one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers may cap accrual and use at 40 hours of leave per year. Up to 40 hours of leave must carry over from year to year, but an employee's total sick leave balance can be capped at 80 hours.

Employers with ten or more employees must provide paid time off; employers with fewer than ten employees may provide unpaid time off. (The rules are different for Portland employers.)

Employees may use sick leave in one-hour increments for the following purposes:

  • to recover from an illness or injury
  • to care for a family member with an illness or injury
  • to care for a newborn or newly adopted child
  • to deal with the aftermath of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault, and
  • following the death of a family member.

For More Information

To find out more about these state laws, visit the website of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry.

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