Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)

Updated May 3, 2024
7 min read
Title "Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)"; LAW book, pen, notebook, house, calendar

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 89% of all civilian workers in the United States had access to unpaid family leave. Employees working for employers in Oregon are part of that key statistic, due to the enactment of the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA or Oregon FMLA), an important piece of state legislation in the field of employment law that seeks to provide job protection to employees.

In this guide, we will cover the details about the OFLA, Oregon Family Medical Leave Act (OFMLA), the conditions of paid and unpaid family leaves, and more.

What Are Oregon FMLA Laws?

The state law equivalent of Oregon FMLA laws is the OFLA. This state legislation enacted in 1995 requires employers of 25 or more employees to provide the latter with job-protected family leave (Family Leave Act Oregon) to care for themselves or their family members in cases of illness, injury, childbirth and adoption.

It is job-protected because employers are required to reinstate or return employees who take the OFLA leave to the same position that they held prior to taking the Oregon family leave, or to an equivalent position if the prior position held by the employee no longer exists. Not only that: employers must also continue providing health insurance benefits to employees who take OFLA leave throughout the period of the leave, as if their employees are still rendering service during the same timeframe.

The Oregon paid family leave is distinct, in addition to the sick time leave granted to workers under Oregon law, which is required to be paid by employers of 10 or more employees. 

Purpose of an OFLA Leave

The Family Leave Act Oregon serves to cater to a multitude of family-related needs of employees in recognition of the probability that, at some point along their employment, they may be required to leave their jobs in order to attend to a sheer number of possible emergencies.

The following are the allowed reasons recognized by law for taking paid family leave Oregon:

  1. To attend to either: (a) birth, (b) adoption or (c) foster placement of a child, otherwise known as “Parental Leave”

  2. To take care of one’s self, one’s spouse, parent, parent-in-law or child, either or all of whom are suffering from a serious health condition

  3. To take care of one’s child who is sick but is not otherwise suffering from a serious health condition

  4. To attend to pregnancy disability for female employees, who are allowed to take an Oregon maternity leave either before or after the birth of the child, or during prenatal care

  5. To take an Oregon military family leave, available to those employees whose spouse is a member of the U.S. military and has either been called to active duty or is on leave from active duty

  6. To mourn for the loss or death of a family member, otherwise known as “Bereavement Leave.”

Who Is Entitled to Take OFLA Leave?

Entitlement to OFLA leave depends on whether the employee’s job tenure has reached the minimum period required by law, for each particular type of OFLA leave as described above.

  • For the paternity leave Oregon, the law requires that the employee must have been on the job for at least 180 days before they may be entitled to the said parental leave.

  • For all other OFLA leaves (except for military leave), the law not only requires that the employee must have been on the job for at least 180 days, it also requires that the employee rendered work for on average of at least 25 hours per week during the 180 pays prior to when the OFLA leave availed of commences.

  • For the OFLA military family leave, unlike that of the aforementioned OFLA leaves, the law does not require that the employee must have been on the job for a specified period. What is required is that the employee rendered work for an average of at least 20 hours per week, but without specifying a period of time for applying the average.

New amendments to the OFLA have taken effect which provides more liberal requirements for OFLA entitlement with respect to employees who are re-employed after separation from employment or returning from work within 180 days after temporary cessation of scheduled work hours. In these cases, while they may not have met the required 180-day job tenure requirement at the time of their return to work, these employees are still entitled to OFLA leave if they were so entitled at the time of their separation or temporary work cessation.

What Is the Duration of Leaves Under FMLA Laws in Oregon?

The length of Oregon FMLA leave is generally 12 weeks within any one year period, and thus not necessarily within a one year period. However, additional periods of leave on top of the 12-week period are allowed under the following scenarios:

  • For an OFLA leave taken for the care of one’s child who is sick but is not otherwise suffering from a serious health condition, an additional leave period of up to 12 weeks is allowed if the non-serious health condition otherwise requires home care.

  • For an OFLA leave taken for pregnancy disability, an additional leave period of up to 12 weeks is allowed.

  • For an OFLA military family leave, an additional leave period of up to 26 weeks in one leave year is granted.

Note that when OFLA-eligible employees fully avail of the 12-week leave period under FMLA Oregon (Federal Family and Medical Leave Ac), they also fully exhaust their entitlement to 12-week leave. 

This means that employers in Oregon who may be covered both by the state law (FMLA Oregon) and federal law (FMLA) are not automatically required to give a total of 24 weeks of leave, or 12 weeks under OFLA plus 12 weeks under FMLA. The general rule, therefore, is that the employees of such OFLA- and FMLA-covered employers are only entitled to 12 weeks of family-related leave. Once an employee consumes their entire 12-week leave during the year, whether under OFLA or under FMLA, he or she will no longer have any OFLA and FMLA leave credits for the remainder of the year.  

There are exceptions, however, to this general rule. Among the exceptions is when the employee avails of OFLA leave to take care of a family member with a serious health condition. Because this kind of leave is only available under OFLA and not under FMLA, the employee who avails of the same OFLA leave for 12 weeks in a year does not lose his or her entitlement to FMLA leave because such OFLA leave may not be possibly counted toward the FMLA entitlement. In such a case, the employee continues to retain his or her 12-week FMLA leave entitlement.

Other Conditions of OFLA Leave

1. Using OFLA leave in conjunction with accrued paid leave

Under the law, while OFLA leaves remain to be unpaid leaves, employees eligible must be permitted to use any existing accrued paid leave, including sick leave, vacation leave or any paid leave offered in lieu of vacation leave. This means that an employee need not avail of the OFLA leave to attend to an OFLA-related reason when other forms of leaves are available.

However, despite that option, it is generally the employers who are given the discretion as to what type of leave must be availed of. Thus, under the law, employers can require that employees who want to avail of OFLA leave use instead their accrued paid leave. Moreover, employers can also dictate the order in which the leave is to be used as long as it is consistent with a collective bargaining agreement or other written agreement between the employee and the covered employer or is consistent with an employer policy. Nonetheless, to protect the employee who is subjected to this discretion by the employer, the law requires the employer to provide written notice to the employee that they are to take accrued paid leave during the planned OFLA leave.

This discretion, however, is not available to employers with respect to employees availing of the OFLA military family leave. In this case, it is the employee, not the employer, who may dictate the order in which the leaves are to be used.

2. OFLA with respect to married couples with children

Under OFLA, each of both parents may avail of the full 12-week OFLA leave. However, with respect to OFLA parental leave, employers are not required to allow both parents who work for the same employer to take said leave at the same time, unless the reason for the leave is that either of the parent or any of their children is suffering from a serious health condition.

3. Notice requirement

The law allows employers to require employees who wish to avail of an OFLA leave to give written notice up to 30 days prior to the day when the OFLA leave is to commence. However, the 30-day notice may not be required if the OFLA leave is taken as a result of an emergency or unforeseen event, in which case the employer is still entitled to notice but only as soon as the giving of notice is practicable but not later than 24 hours after the OFLA leave commenced.

Employers are also allowed to require a separate notice to be given within three days when the employee is to return to work after having availed of OFLA leave.

Finally, the law also allows employers to undertake disciplinary measures against employees who fail to give the required written notice as discussed above.

4. Medical verification for OFLA sick child leave

The law gives employers the right to require medical verification as to whether there really exists a need for OFLA leave taken for the care of an employee’s sick child. This right to have a medical verification on the part of the employer kicks in when the same employee has availed of the OFLA sick child leave for the fourth or any subsequent time within the same year.


The OFLA leave is one of the most important laws in the state of Oregon, as it provides ample protection to job security of employees and gives employees the gift of protected time off to take care of themselves and their family members.

Legal Disclaimer

Please note that Lawrina does not provide any legal services. The information on Lawrina’s Site and its downloadable content, including legal articles and templates, shall not be considered legal advice and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, and up-to-date. If you require legal advice on your issue, we recommend you contact a qualified attorney licensed in your state. You personally assume full responsibility for any consequences, damages, and costs associated with your use of any content of Lawrina Services available on Lawrina’s Site. 

By using Lawrina’s Site you agree with mentioned above and give your irrevocable consent to comply with and to be bound by the provisions of Lawrina Service terms. 

Also Read

Final Paychecks in Ohio
When are employers in Ohio required to pay final paychecks to their terminated employees? Answering this question requires an understanding of the Ohio final pay laws and state laws governing payment of wages. As you will see while reading this guide, applying the Ohio state law on the issue of disbursing final paychecks to terminated employees is not as straightforward as it sounds. This guide seeks to lead employers and employees within Ohio final paycheck laws on the issue of last wages to te
Missouri Wage Garnishment Laws
The government has tools in place for ensuring people pay their debts. Rather than send people to antiquated debtors’ prisons, federal and state level governments have wage garnishment laws which are designed to forcibly take percentages of your income to repay debt if you failed to do it on your own. In this guide, we shall take a closer look at Missouri garnishment laws, key legislation regulating garnishment, and how one can stop the garnishment of wages. Missouri Garnishment Statutes Wage ga
Oregon Overtime Laws
Overtime in Oregon is determined by both state and federal laws, and rules may vary depending on the employee’s pay rate, occupation, and the industry they work in. As a general rule under federal law and Oregon labor laws, overtime refers to hours worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek and must be paid at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate. This comprehensive guide dwells on Oregon overtime laws, special rules for different industries, who qualifies for overtime pay, and how it is calculated. This
Pennsylvania Overtime Laws
Overtime laws in Pennsylvania (PA) dictate how much money employers have to pay when their employees work beyond the federally mandated maximum of 40 hours per week. Federal and state labor laws provide rules for how much workers must be compensated for their hourly work and, by extension, their overtime work. This guide will lead you through relevant overtime laws in PA, common state wage payments, and overtime exemptions in Pennsylvania. Overtime Rules in Pennsylvania and Minimum Wage The amou
What Is Medical Discrimination?
It is against medical discrimination laws for any employer to discriminate against someone due to the existence of a medical condition. Both state law and federal law prohibit discrimination because of a disability or medical condition. This prohibition extends not just to workplace medical discrimination but to harassment as well. Understanding exceptions to medical discrimination and examples of medical discrimination can help you determine whether you need to take legal action. Definition of
All Guides
      Banking Law
      Bankruptcy Law
      Contract Law
      Entertainment Law
      Independent Contractor Law
      Intellectual Property Law
      Internet Law
      Labor Law
        Final Paychecks in Ohio
        Missouri Wage Garnishment Laws
        Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)
        Oregon Overtime Laws
        Pennsylvania Overtime Laws
        What Is Medical Discrimination?
      Sports Law
    Real Estate