Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has made permanent its rule that employees can use the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)’s sick child leave provisions for leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to a statewide public health emergency. As we previously reported, BOLI announced an emergency rule in March that expanded OFLA to cover such leave. BOLI made the changes in response to parents’ needs for leave due to school and day care closures related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. That emergency rule expired on September 13, 2020, and has been replaced by the permanent rule, which took effect on September 14, 2020. At the same time it issued the permanent rule, BOLI issued an emergency temporary rule clarifying what constitutes a “child care provider” and a “closure.” The temporary rule clarifies that employees may need to take intermittent or reduced work schedule leave based on the circumstances at their child’s school or child care provider. The rule also says employers may ask workers to provide the name of the child, the name of the school or care provider, a statement that no other family member of the child is willing and able to care for the child, and if the child is over 14, whether there are special circumstances that exist requiring them to provide care. We expect that this temporary rule eventually will go through an official rulemaking process and become permanent as well.
Tips: We’ll update our model OFLA policy and leave request form in light of the permanent expansion of OFLA sick child leave. Contact your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney for help updating your own policy and request form.