Protected Leave: Qualifications & Eligibility

You must meet the following requirements to qualify for protected leave:

If you take time intermittently or work a reduced work schedule, you must be able to perform the essential functions of your job while you are at work. If you are unable to perform your job responsibilities while at work, you may be required to take continuous leave.

Minimum "Hours Worked" Qualifications

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): 

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must:

  • have worked for that employer for at least 12 months; and
  • have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave; and,
  • work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed at the location or within 75 miles of the location.

Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA):

To be eligible for OFLA leave, an employee must:

  • have worked for that employer for at least 180 days immediately prior to the beginning of the leave; and
  • have worked a minimum of 25 hours per week during the 180 days immediately prior to the beginning of the leave (exception: parental leave does not require the minimum weekly hours worked).

Leave Entitlement

With some exceptions, employees are entitled to 12 weeks within a one-year period.  That exhausts the FMLA 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.

Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave (OR PFML) and OFLA are designed to run together for leave taken under both laws. Once an employee takes OR PFML, the law also limits the total amount of leave available for that benefit year to 16 weeks (up to 12 of which may be taken as OR PFML). Employees may also take an additional two weeks of OR PFML for pregnancy disability, bringing the total leave available for that benefit year up to 18 weeks.

Eligible Reasons

Although there are a few exceptions, FMLA and OFLA generally provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year and Oregon Military Family Leave Act (OMFLA) provides for 14 days of unpaid leave per deployment 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 (OFLA only).
    • You may also take OFLA protected time if your child's school or childcare provider is closed due to a public health emergency (past example: COVID-19 school closures).
  • To care for a seriously ill or injured service member or veteran (26 weeks) (FMLA only).
  • A “qualifying exigency” arising out of the foreign deployment of the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent (FMLA only).
  • For an employee to spend time with a spouse or same-gender domestic partner who is in the military and has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty or who has been deployed during a period of military conflict (OMFLA only).
  • Bereavement leave is two weeks of leave to make funeral arrangements, attend the funeral or alternative to a funeral, or to grieve a family member who has passed away (OFLA only).