Oregon governor signs off on paid family and medical leave bill

Oregon governor signs off on paid family and medical leave bill
© Facebook: Kate Brown

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed legislation Friday that gives residents 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave and offers low-income workers full wage replacement benefits in a historic first, The Oregonian reported

House Bill 2005, which is being hailed by backers as the country’s "most progressive" family leave policy, will allow workers to will receive up to 12 weeks of paid time off that can be “used to care for a new baby, recover from a serious illness, or support newly adopted or foster children,” Brown’s office said in a release.

The office also added that the bill will provide victims of domestic violence with paid time off and “guarantees 100% of wages to low-income workers.” According to The Oregonian, the legislation makes Oregon the first state in the nation to offer low-income workers full wage replacement benefits.

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But the law does also provide stipulations for those earning more than the average weekly wage.

“If the eligible employee’s average weekly wage is equal to or less than 65 percent of the average weekly wage, the employee’s weekly benefit amount shall be 100 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage,” the law states.

“If the eligible employee’s average weekly wage is greater than 65 percent of the average weekly wage, the employee’s weekly benefit amount is the sum of: (A) 65 percent of the average weekly wage; and (B) 50 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage that is greater than 65 percent of the average weekly wage,” the legislation adds. 

Brown said in a statement that, with the legislation’s passage, Oregon families “no longer need to make the difficult choice between paying the rent and staying home with their newborn, or between chemotherapy and keeping food on the table."

"It's absurd that our society values someone clocking in and out of their job above holding a loved one's hand — and that will change under HB 2005, where all families who need and care for each other will be recognized,” she continued.

The state will start rolling out the benefits in 2023.