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Paid Leave Oregon - Change to Employee Count in Rules

On November 22, 2022, the Oregon Employment Department published the following announcement about changes in how employees will be counted.

"We created temporary rules to change the way Paid Leave Oregon counts employees to determine employer size.

Paid Leave Oregon changed the way we count employees based on partner and community feedback, as it has been a consistent area of confusion since we started Community Conversations and other engagement meetings. This change aligns Paid Leave more closely with the way employees are counted for the Unemployment Insurance program. The rules are available online under definitions and methods, and we have a guide and chart to help employers determine their employee count.

Here is what is changing, and what is not:

What is changing – We are adjusting the way we count employees.

  • Previously, we counted employer size as the average number of employees over the previous four quarters using payroll reports.
  • Now, employers count their size using the average number of employees on the 12th of each month from the previous twelve months. This means there are twelve numbers to calculate the average instead of just four.

What is not changing – 25 employees as the threshold between small and large employers.

  • Oregon statute mandates employer size, and this will not change.
  • Employers with 25 and more employees are considered large, and those with fewer than 25 are considered small.
  • Employers with 25 or more employees will still pay the employer contribution rate.
  • Smaller employers, those with fewer than 25 employees, will not pay the employer contribution, but can choose to do so.

This new way of counting employees will give employers a more accurate reflection of the true number of employees. This is especially important for small employers with high turnover. In addition, the majority of Oregon employers already report a monthly count for Unemployment Insurance purposes, so most employers are used to this method of reporting.

This change will be in effect by the time contributions start on Jan. 1, 2023."

If you would like more information about Paid Leave Oregon, please visit the Employment Department website. You may also want to participate in our upcoming webinar.

If we can be of assistance with this topic, or anything else, please reach out.