Oregon Enacts Living Donor Leave Law
Earlier this month, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 796 into law—after it passed 28-1 in the state Senate, and unanimously in the House—providing protected leave under the Oregon Family Leave Act (“OFLA”) for employees who miss work in connection with donating a body part, organ, or tissue.
The bill expands OFLA’s definition of “serious health condition” to include “[a]ny period of absence for the donation of a body part, organ or tissue, including preoperative or diagnostic services, surgery, post-operative treatment and recovery.” Previously, the definition covered only those conditions requiring inpatient care, constant care, or posing a reasonable possibility of death, as well as any period of disability due to pregnancy or absence for prenatal care. Oregon law permits an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or the employee’s own serious health condition.
Organ donors arguably would have qualified for OFLA-protected leave even without the amendment—at least where complications from the procedure result in the need for extended medical care—but employers should be aware that there is no room for such debate when the bill becomes effective on January 1, 2020.
In addition to serious health condition leave, Oregon law also provides protected parental leave, sick child leave, bereavement leave, military family leave, and paid sick leave.