How Family Medical Leave Works

A serious on-the-job injury that requires extensive medical care will cause a significant loss of time from work. In addition to workers' compensation benefits, injured workers in Oregon have certain rights under the Oregon Family Medical Leave Act and the Federal Family Medical Leave Act. Each statute applies in Oregon, depending upon your employer. Here are some basics:

1. There is a federal version of this law, and a state version.  To enjoy the federal protections, you must be working for an employer that has 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of your work site. Under the state statute, you must work for an employer with 25 or more employees in the current or previous year.

2. There are some exceptions, but generally, both statutes provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year, and the Oregon statute provides 14 days of unpaid leave for deployment for other reasons, including parental leave, time to take care of a family member with a serious health problem, pregnancy disability leave, or to care for a sick child. The federal statute allows a 26 week leave to care for an injured service member or veteran.

3. There are also minimum work requirements. The Oregon statute requires that you have at least 180 calendar days of work and 25 hours a week on average to qualify for benefits, except for parental leave, which does not have a weekly average hours worked requirement. Under the federal statute, you must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, and have at least 1250 hours of work within a year prior.

4. Neither statute requires that your employer compensate you while you were on leave.

5. If you are off work due to an on-the-job injury and the State of Oregon, the federal leave can run alongside of your time off from work for the on-the-job injury. However, your Oregon benefits are preserved, unless you have refused a modified job offer.

These statutes have undergone recent amendments, and they are complex. If you have questions about a long-term disability due to serious injury, whether its on or off the job, call us at 503-325-8600. If we are not able to help you with your issue, we will work to find somebody who can.