Mandatory Leave

Oregon has a generous paid family medical leave (FMLA) benefit, and employers and employees both contribute to the fund that makes it possible. There are almost no exceptions to this law. Employers can be required in some circumstances to hold an employee’s job for their return as much as 18 weeks every year, with full reinstatement rights.

That’s in addition to other statutory leave issues imposed by state law, including leave to care for sick children, bereavements, recovery from certain crimes, and military or military spouse leave.

At least five different laws at the state and Federal levels interact with all employers’ leave rights in Oregon, weaving a complex pattern of when an employee may take paid leave, when the employee may take unpaid leave, when the employer can require the employee to exhaust available vacation and PTO reserves before being eligible for leave, and what happens when business needs change while an employee is out on leave.

For many clients Gunderson Employment Law has counseled over the years, providing this much leave represents a significant challenge. Of course, everyone has compassion for employees going through tough times, but that compassion does not mitigate that employers either have to do more with less or hire more expensive temporary help to make up for the absences. 

Don’t get caught out in the open trying to navigate these issues on your own. We’re here to help you.