In Oregon, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. OR Bureau of Labor and Industries FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. OR Bureau of Labor and Industries FAQs; See Wyss v. Inskeep, 73 Ore. App. 661, 699 P.2d 1161 (1985); Henderson-Rubio v. The May Department Stores Company, 53 Ore. App. 575, 632 P.2d 1289 (1981).
An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. OR Bureau of Labor and Industries FAQs.
An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they are terminated or fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. OR Bureau of Labor and Industries FAQs; See Wheeler v. Mission Electric & Plumbing Supply, Inc., 267 Ore. 209, 515 P.2d 1323 (Ore. Sup. Ct. 1973).
An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. OR Bureau of Labor and Industries FAQs.
An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent or ambiguous about the matter. OR Bureau of Labor and Industries FAQs.
An employer may lawfully cap the vacation leave an employee can accrued over time, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy. OR Bureau of Labor and Industries FAQs.
An employer may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy and gives then a reasonable opportunity to use their vacation leave before it is lost. OR Bureau of Labor and Industries FAQs.
Oregon law requires employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits. Employers with 10 or more employees (6 or more in Portland) must provide paid sick leave. Employers with less than 10 employees (less than 6 in Portland) must provide unpaid sick leave. For more information, visit OR Bureau of Labor and Industries: Oregon Sick Time.
Oregon law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. OR Bureau of Labor and Industries FAQs
In Oregon, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Visit our Oregon State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Oregon as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury. OR Statute 10.061 An employer may not discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of the employee’s service or scheduled service as a juror. OR Statute 10.090
Oregon does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
Oregon requires certain employers with 25 or more employees to provide employees bereavement leave. Employers with fewer than 25 employees are not required to provide either paid or unpaid bereavement leave. For more information, please visit our page discussing Oregon’s Bereavement Leave Law.
Oregon Family and Medical Leave
Oregon has its own family and medical leave act, allowing employees to take unpaid leave for various reasons.
Oregon Family Leave Law
The Oregon family leave law applies to the private and the public sectors. Employees are entitled to up to three months of unpaid leave in one year for various reasons, including the following:
- To care for an adopted or foster child under 18 years old or a newborn child.
- To care for a foster or adopted child over 18 years old if they have a disability that does not allow them to care for themselves.
- To care for a member of the family that has a severe health concern, which can include a grandparent, parent-in-law, parent, grandchild, child, and spouse.
- To treat or recover from an employee’s own serious health condition.
- To care for a minor that needs home care due to an injury or illness
Coverage and Eligibility
This Oregon family leave law applies to all employers with a minimum of 25 employees. For an employee to be eligible, they must have worked for a minimum of 180 days and have averaged at least 25 weekly hours at the time of medical leave request.
However, if an employee requests leave for a newly adopted child, a new foster child, or a newborn child, they only have to have worked for 180 days. This does not include an average weekly hour requirement. Moreover, paid vacation, sick leave, or other paid leave may also be used instead of unpaid family leave.
Parenting and Maternity Leave
An employee has 12 weeks a week for a newborn child and is also eligible for 12 weeks of leave to care for a child who is ill within that time frame.
If a child’s condition is non-life-threatening and another family member can care for them, it is at the employer’s discretion to grant family leave to the employee.
In addition, a female worker in Oregon may also take an extra three months’ leave for any issue related to childbirth or pregnancy that has disabled the employee.
Moreover, an employee may take leave under the Oregon family leave laws or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and is allowed to choose the one that provides the greater benefit.
An employee returning from leave must be returned to the same or an equivalent job without loss of seniority.
If the job is no longer available because it does not exist, that employee is entitled to be reinstated to a similar position.
If a similar position is not available at the business, the employer must return that employee to a similar or equivalent job within 20 miles of the current workplace.