Bereavement Leave Under Oregon Law

Authored by: Jeremy Green

Certain Oregon employers are now required to provide bereavement leave to eligible employees.  Effective January 1, 2014, HB 2950 requires an employer subject to the Oregon Family Leave Act (i.e., an Oregon employer with 25 or more employees) to provide an OFLA eligible employee (i.e., an employee who has been employed for more than 180 days an average of 25 or more hours per week) two weeks of bereavement leave within 60 days of the date on which the employee receives notice of the death of a family member.  Qualifying bereavement leave includes leave to attend the funeral of a family member, marking arrangements necessitated by the death of a family member, and grieving the death of a family member.  HB 2950 defines “family member” as the employee’s spouse, same-sex domestic partner, biological, adoptive, or foster parent, child, grandparent, or grandchild, parent-in-law, or a person with whom the employee was in an in loco parentis relationship.

An eligible employee desiring to take bereavement leave must provide oral notice within 24 hours of the start of leave.  The employee must also provide written notice within three days after the employee returns to work.  Notwithstanding the aforementioned notice requirements, an employer may not limit bereavement leave if the employee fails to provide appropriate notice.  An employer may require the employee to use his or her accrued vacation or paid sick leave during bereavement leave. 

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