OREGON: New OFLA rules published
Newly updated regulations under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) have been published and are effective immediately. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) solicited comments last year on whether to update the rules in light of recent changes to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations. Below are some of the highlights (OAR 839-009-0200 to -0320). For more information, see our Legal Guide, “Federal, Oregon and Washington Leave Comparison Chart” (1183).
The good news:
• Calling in sick is not sufficient notice of the need for OFLA leave.
The bad news:
• No changes to the definition of “serious health condition” (doesn’t incorporate new FMLA provisions).
• Within five business days of learning of the need for OFLA leave, you must tell the employee whether he or she is eligible and qualifies for OFLA leave. The notice must be in writing only if the employee is not entitled to leave. Vigilant has developed a new Model Form, “OFLA: Eligibility Notice” (6267) to assist you.
• To clarify or authenticate a medical certification, the only person who may contact the health care provider is a health care provider representing the employer (doesn’t incorporate new FMLA rules allowing others to make this contact).
• When a medical certification is in a language other than English, you may request, but not require, an employee to provide a translation, as long as you allow the employee access to translation resources that are available to you, such as bilingual personnel or computer programs (unlike FMLA rules which allow you to simply require such translation).
• For leaves covered by both OFLA and FMLA, no clarification of which regulations are more beneficial in specific circumstances (BOLI requires employers to apply whatever rule is most beneficial to the employee, but sometimes it is unclear which rule is the right one to apply).
• No change to BOLI’s position that employers cannot count OFLA leave against an employee when determining eligibility for bonuses.