Paid Family Leave Insurance in Oregon
About the Campaign:
We're thrilled to be working on Paid Family Leave with MomsRising members and our partners in Oregon. On April 8, 2009, we had an awesome kick off at the Capitol to introduce the Paid Family Leave bill. The event included a press conference featuring Sandwich Mom (a mom in wacky sandwich costume, symbolizing the way moms are sandwiched between competing responsibilities to work and home), personal deliveries of PB&J sandwiches and member messages to every single Oregon State Senator, and an amazing hearing where the support for the bill was overwhelming. The grassroots work of moms, dads and other supporters just like you have created an incredible media buzz. Check out the links at the bottom of the page to see what Oregon is saying about Paid Family Leave!
Facts to inspire you:
- Having a baby is a leading cause of "poverty spells" in the U.S. – when income dips below what's needed for basic living expenses.
- 51% of new mothers lack any paid leave -- so some take unpaid leave, some quit, some even lose their jobs.
- The U.S is one of only 4 countries that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers -- the others are Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
- Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).
Paid family leave is good for families and businesses.
- There will be no cost for employers. The program is funded by an employee payroll deduction.
- There will be no additional red tape. The system is already in place, so the implementation impact would be minimal.
- Paid family leave will help small businesses compete. Paid family leave will help level the playing field in providing the benefits employees want and need.
- To find out more about how paid family leave is good for OR businesses, click here.
How will paid family leave work in Oregon?
HB 3160, creating Oregon Family Leave Insurance, will give employees 6 weeks of paid leave for a new child or ill family member. This Insurance builds on existing family leave laws that provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave. Oregon Family Leave Insurance will cover all employees who are eligible under the current Oregon family leave laws, meaning they work for a firm with 25 or more employees.
Smaller employers will be able to opt-in to this insurance so they can offer these same benefits to their employees as well. The insurance benefit is funded through a 2 cent per hour payroll deduction from employee salaries (about $42 per year). This modest contribution enables workers to be eligible for $300 per week, $1800 per year. The deduction is collected through existing payroll reporting methods that collect for the Worker’s Benefit Fund and TRImet. The benefit, enforcement and administration is performed by the Bureau of Labor and Industries.
Here are links to the press coverage so you can check out the coverage for yourself, and please if you do, take a moment to comment on the websites -- opponents of the bill aren't shy about posting their opinions, don't be shy about posting yours!
The Statesmen Journal, April 9, 2009
Interested in volunteering? Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help.
Check out these awesome photos from our kick-off event on April 8, 2009:
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