Paid Leave Oregon, a new benefit, begins in September 2023

Baby and father

The University of Oregon will contract with a third-party administrator to establish a paid leave plan required by the state of Oregon.

The Paid Leave Oregon program begins in September 2023 and provides paid leave for absences related to the birth or adoption of a child, one’s own or a loved one’s serious illness, or due to sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment or stalking.

The program is funded by payroll taxes paid by employees and employers. The tax or contribution rate, which is set each year by the state, will be 1 percent of gross wages for 2023 with the employee paying 60 percent of the rate and the university paying 40 percent. By using a third-party administrator, payroll contributions will not begin until September 2023 when benefits become available to employees.

Contributions would begin in January of 2023 if the university used the state to administer its plan.

“The UO will be using a third-party administer for Paid Leave Oregon to save employees and the university money and to provide support for employees,” said Mark Schmelz, chief human resources officer and vice president. “An administrator with experience managing similar plans will be well positioned to provide accurate and timely service and claims processing support.”

The Office of Human Resources will continue to plan and prepare for implementation. Processes and procedures for submitting claims and withholding contributions will be shared in advance of the September 2023 plan start date.

Program guidelines are still being finalized by the state of Oregon. Schmelz said employees should review the Oregon Paid Leave notice and refer to the Paid Leave Oregon website for the most up-to-date information.

Paid Leave Oregon is available to employees who primarily work in Oregon and is in addition to other UO leave programs such as Family Medical Leave Act, Oregon Family Leave Act and collective bargaining agreement provisions, which are administered by human resources.