As we previously advised, under Oregon Senate Bill 1515 (“SB 1515”) effective July 1, 2024, most of the Oregon Family Leave Act (“OFLA”)—including leave for the employee’s or a family member’s serious health condition—will sunset. (Pregnancy disability, sick child, and bereavement leave remain available under OFLA.)  Employees may instead look to other applicable leave laws, including Paid Leave Oregon and the federal Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).

One question that SB 1515 left unanswered was how employers should address employees whose OFLA leaves were approved under current law, but will no longer be covered under the revised OFLA beginning July 1. 

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) has now published a Temporary Rule with an answer. No later than June 1, 2024, employers must notify employees in writing that their previously approved OFLA leaves will end effective July 1, 2024.

Please read below for a Q&A with more information about the Temporary Rule.

Which Employees Must Receive Written Notice? Employees are entitled to notice if: (1) they have been approved for OFLA leave for any reason other than pregnancy disability leave, sick child leave, or bereavement leave (for example, serious health condition leave for the employee or a family member); and (2) their approved OFLA leave extends past June 30, 2024.

When Must the Written Notice Be Sent? The Temporary Rule states that employers must send the notice “as soon as practicable” but no later than June 1, 2024. 

What Must the Written Notice Contain? The employer must inform the employees that their OFLA leave will not be approved effective July 1, 2024. In addition, the employer must provide the employees with information about the ability to apply for PLO benefits, whether through the State of Oregon or through the employer’s equivalent plan. Employers may comply with this aspect of the Temporary Rule by providing a copy of the Oregon Employment Department’s (“OED”) standard PLO notice. In addition, for new OFLA requests submitted between now and June 30, 2024, employers must provide employees with notice of PLO benefits within 14 days of receiving the OFLA request.

What Else Should I Know About the Temporary Rule? In many instances, employee absences that were covered under OFLA are also covered under FMLA. The Temporary Rule has no effect on employees’ FMLA eligibility because FMLA is administered by the federal Department of Labor (“DOL”). Although not required by the Temporary Rule, employers should consider notifying employees whose OFLA leaves will terminate effective July 1 that their FMLA leave is unaffected. 

What Happens if an Employer Fails to Comply with the Notice Requirement? The Temporary Rule does not set forth a penalty for failure to comply with the June 1 deadline.

Please feel free to reach out to anyone from our Labor and Employment group if you have questions about the Temporary Rule or SB 1515. Also, please be sure to register for our June 25, 2024, webinar, “Paid Leave Oregon and OFLA: The Latest and Greatest.”