An Executive Order from Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, declared a public health emergency on November 14, 2022, in response to the alarming rates of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and Flu (influenza) cases.
COVID-19-related amendments made to OFLA went into effect on January 1, 2022, and state that any declared public health emergency is a qualifying reason for OFLA leave.
This means RSV and the Flu are qualifying reasons for an employee to be eligible for OFLA (Oregon Family Leave Act) Leave. It also enables employees to take sick child leave under OFLA to care for their sick child and/or to care for a child whose school or daycare is closed due to a public health emergency. It is important for employers to note that the Flu and RSV are generally covered under Oregon’s sick time law. The Executive Order will remain in effect until March 6, 2023, unless it is terminated or extended.
Under this amendment, Oregon employees are also qualified for leave if they are employed for 30 days prior to the leave date, as long as they have worked at least 25 hours per week. These requirements differ from the standard qualifying requirements of OFLA, stating that employees must be employed 180 days prior and work an average of 25 hours per week.
In addition to employers preparing for paid leave to become available to employees starting September 2023, Oregon employers should immediately act accordingly with the additional qualifying reasons for leave until the public health emergency expires.