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New family-leave plan doesn't begin until 2023

I’ve heard that a new law is coming in January that will allow workers to take time off for a number of reasons, including to care for a child. Can you fill me in on what the law will do, particularly if it protects the worker who needs to take time off.

— Troy L., Medford

You’re right, Troy, House Bill 2005 creates a family-leave system in Oregon, but it won’t start until Jan. 1, 2023.

The bill would give employees up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for new babies, sick family members or deal with domestic violence. Women who experience complications during childbirth can get up to 18 weeks.

The leave will be paid for through a special fund from contributions of employers and employees. Businesses would not have to contribute if they have less than 25 employees.

Oregon is the eighth state to require paid family and medical leave for eligible employees. Other states include California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, Connecticut and the District of Columbia.

Employers will pay 40% of the rates under the new program and employees will pay the rest, though employers can also pay the employee’s portion as an added benefit.

The state rules for the new program must be devised by Sept. 2, 2021. The employee payroll contribution begins Jan. 1, 2022, and on the same date employers must give employees written notice of their rights under the new program.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

Since you asked