A Primer on Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

In 2019, the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed the Paid Family Medical Leave Act, which established a paid family and medical leave insurance (PFMLI) program for Oregon employees. On April 27, 2022, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) filed proposed administrative rules with the Oregon Office of the Secretary of State to detail the specifics of the program.

Oregon Amends Workplace Fairness Act to Limit Confidentiality in Settlement of Discrimination and Harassment Claims

In 2019, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the Workplace Fairness Act (OWFA), which took full effect as of October 1, 2020. Among other things, the law prohibits employers from requiring employees to enter into agreements that would prevent them from disclosing conduct constituting discrimination and harassment (including sexual assault) prohibited under state law, or that would prevent them from seeking reemployment with the employer, except in narrow circumstances. In February 2022, both chambers of the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 1586, amending the OWFA.

Oregon Enacts Temporary Rule Requiring Healthcare Worker Vaccinations or COVID-19 Testing

In recent weeks, Oregon has seen a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, which threatens to overwhelm local hospitals. On August 5, 2021, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) adopted a temporary rule on an emergency basis in response to Governor Kate Brown’s direction to curb and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare settings.

Oregon Expands Unemployment Benefits to Workers Impacted by COVID-19

On March 8, 2020, Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just 9 days later, on March 17, 2020, Governor Brown issued a series of executive orders that prohibited gatherings of 25 people or more; prohibited any restaurants, bars, or other similar establishments that offer food or drink from allowing on-premises consumption; and closed public schools statewide through at least April 28, 2020.