What You Need to Know About Family Leave

Whether you are sick, injured, or pregnant it is important to know the basics of family leave. The two most important statutes are the Oregon Family Leave Act ("OFLA") and the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). The OFLA is specific to Oregon and is similar to the FMLA, which is the federal version. The following are answers to commonly asked questions:

Am I eligible to take leave?

To be eligible under the FMLA you must have worked 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours for the company you are requesting leave from.

To be eligible under the OFLA you must have worked at least 180 days for an average of 25 hours a week for the company you are requesting leave from.

How much leave can I use?

12 weeks of leave.

What can I use leave for?

-My own "serious health condition";

-My family member's "serious health condition"; and,


In addition to the leave covered above, the OFLA also covers:

-Sick child leave; and,

-Bereavement leave.

What is a "serious health condition"?

A "serious health condition" is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

Do I need to provide my employer with a note from the doctor?

Yes, your employer can request that you provide a note from your doctor.

Do I have to take the full time off or can I use chunks of leave?

Under both the FMLA and the OFLA you can use leave in chunks unless it is parental leave then the time off needs to be consecutive.

Does my employer have to give me my job back?

Under both statutes your employer must allow you to return to the same, or an equivalent, position.

How soon do I have to tell my employer before I want to use leave?

Generally, you must give your employer 30 days' notice if the leave is foreseeable. If the leave is a surprise then you must let your employer know as soon as possible.

© 9/28/2018 Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.

Phillip Jones is an Associate Attorney with the law firm Hunt & Associates, PC in Portland, Oregon. He is licensed in Oregon and maintains a general practice including civil litigation, employment law, business law, real estate law, family law, misdemeanor criminal defense and personal injury. For additional information, please check out the company's website:

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