Govs Get It Done: Oregon Governor Kate Brown Signs Paid Family Leave Bill
The new paid leave system will be one of the most progressive and generous in the country
Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a paid family leave bill today, making Oregon one of only 8 states to offer such a system.
Oregon’s new bill will provide 12 weeks of paid leave for employees to care for a new child, recover from illness, or serve as a caregiver to a family member. The bill also allows victims of domestic abuse to take paid leave for their safety. The benefits officially begin for workers in 2023.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown joins Democratic governors in New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Maine, Louisiana and Connecticut in enacting or expanding paid family leave policies this year. Gov. Brown has been working on paid family leave since 1991 when she was an advocate for the Women’s Rights Coalition.
Oregon’s paid family leave bill goes even further than its peers, expanding the eligibility list for leave reasons while also guaranteeing 12 full weeks of 100% pay. The new law will cover all workers, full or part-time, who earn more than $1,000 in wages yearly. Under this bill, almost every worker in Oregon will have access to paid family leave.
Only 16 percent of workers in the U.S. had available paid family leave in March 2018, a number that Dem Govs are helping radically expand. Gov. Brown marked the momentous signing by saying, “Oregon families no longer need to make the difficult choice between paying the rent and staying home with their newborn, or between chemotherapy and keeping food on the table.”