This column is sponsored by the Lower Columbia Human Resource Management Association. LCHRMA represents a gathering of Human Resources professionals. Join us each month for a luncheon and training that covers many aspects of employment law and human resources.
• April 27 and 28: Greg Sammis, master certified trainer, speaks about “Crucial Conversations” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (both days) at Clatsop Community College Columbia Hall Rm. 219, Astoria.
• May 3: Mary Hennessy, Cascade Centers, speaks about “Whole Person Wellness” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fort George Brewery, 1483 Duane Street Astoria.
Register online. www.lchrma.org
HR Questions and Answers:
Q. What is OFLA and when may an employee take family leave?
A. The Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) is designed to help an employee preserve his or her job when it is necessary to take time off from work for medical reasons and generally provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for the following purposes:
• For the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child (parental leave).
• To care for a family member with a serious health condition or the employee´s own serious health condition (serious health condition leave).
• For pregnancy disability or prenatal care (pregnancy disability leave).
• To care for a sick child who does not have a serious health condition, but requires home care, known as sick child leave.
• Bereavement leave is two weeks of leave to make funeral arrangements, attend the funeral or to grieve a family member who has passed away.
Q. May an employee collect unemployment benefits if he or she is on family medical leave?
A. Generally no. An employee is simply not eligible for unemployment benefits during a medical leave under the OFLA because he or she cannot work.
Q. How much leave can an employee take?
A. With some notable exceptions, employees are entitled to 12 weeks within any one-year period. That exhausts the leave entitlement except for military caregivers leave, which can extend to 26 weeks in one leave year. Under OFLA, women taking any pregnancy disability leave are allowed an additional 12 weeks for any OFLA purpose. Either parent who has taken a full 12 weeks of parental leave (e.g., to care for a newborn, newly adopted child or newly placed foster child) are also entitled to take up to an additional 12 weeks leave to care for a child with a non-serious health condition requiring home care.
Disclaimer: No response to the above queries is intended as legal advice. The answers are general answers based on general questions. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.