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Parents can take protected leave from work while kids are learning from home, Oregon agency says

The Oregon Family Leave Act allows parents to take 12 weeks off from work, though it is not guaranteed to be paid.

Posted: Sep 24, 2020 1:48 PM

SALEM, Ore. — As many parents struggle to balance work and facilitating remote learning for their kids, the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) has issued a reminder that parents can take protected leave from work if needed.

The Oregon Family Leave Act, passed last year, guarantees protected leave for parents to care for their children. BOLI says that this law will apply for parents who need to help their children learn remotely.

“Parenting in a pandemic while working is an unexpected challenge that so many people are facing,” says Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle. “This burden is unsustainable. Parents – you should know that you can take protected time off of work to help your kids through distance learning or take care of them if your childcare provider is closed.”

While Oregon Family Leave does promise paid leave in some circumstances, staying home for distance learning does not guarantee pay.

BOLI says that parents can take up to 12 weeks of "sick child leave" per year. Oregonians can use banked sick or vacation time during that leave, but it is otherwise unpaid.

Nonetheless, the law protects workers from losing their job if taking this leave, and requires that employers keep providing the same healthcare benefits. You must be "returned to your old job or a similar position if your job doesn't exist anymore."

Sick child leave can be taken intermittently, so that parents can break up the time weekly or monthly instead of taking it all at once.

BOLI Commissioner Hoyle issued an emergency rule in March to apply sick child leave for distance learning, and it was codified as a permanent rule this month.

"We are in this together for the long haul,” Hoyle said.

To be eligible, you must have worked an average of 25 hours per week for 180 days and your employer must have at least 25 employees.


How do I use Oregon Family Leave (OFLA) protected time off?

  1. Give your employer notice that you will be taking Oregon Family Leave. You are required to give written notice 30 days in advance of taking time off, unless it is impractical to do so or if the leave is taken for an emergency.
  2. Take your time off, either in a chunk or intermittently.
  3. Use any paid time you have accrued if you want to, otherwise this time is likely unpaid. Your employer can require you to use paid time you have while on OFLA leave.
  4. You should be prepared to provide: the name of the child/children you are caring for, the name of the school or childcare provider that has closed or become unavailable, a statement affirming that no other family member is willing and able to care for the child. If you will be caring for a child older than 14 during daylight hours, a statement that special circumstances exist requiring the you to provide care.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 42436

Reported Deaths: 655
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9228160
Marion5858108
Washington579076
Umatilla335444
Clackamas313965
Lane239227
Malheur191738
Jackson16846
Deschutes113213
Yamhill99415
Linn81015
Polk65415
Jefferson6049
Morrow5456
Lincoln51713
Union4672
Benton4426
Klamath4113
Douglas3506
Wasco34715
Hood River2771
Josephine2673
Columbia2661
Coos2460
Clatsop2430
Baker1203
Crook1092
Tillamook700
Curry571
Wallowa442
Lake370
Harney230
Sherman190
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 910438

Reported Deaths: 17386
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3006147000
Riverside667321295
San Bernardino627741072
Orange587251447
San Diego54941870
Kern33881416
Fresno30858436
Sacramento25445484
Santa Clara24313388
Alameda23391461
San Joaquin21630489
Contra Costa18694242
Stanislaus17686397
Tulare17495286
Ventura14300164
Imperial12882336
San Francisco12152140
Monterey1139991
San Mateo11149159
Santa Barbara9814120
Merced9465155
Sonoma9402136
Kings824683
Solano738476
Marin7089128
Madera502074
Placer417857
San Luis Obispo414132
Yolo320759
Butte308752
Santa Cruz280225
Napa196215
Shasta188930
Sutter183712
San Benito144215
El Dorado13284
Yuba129310
Mendocino112921
Tehama8808
Lassen7661
Lake69515
Glenn6573
Nevada6168
Humboldt56710
Colusa5506
Calaveras34218
Amador33016
Tuolumne2714
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1930
Mono1802
Del Norte1781
Mariposa782
Plumas680
Modoc290
Trinity260
Sierra60
Alpine30
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