July Spotlight: Equivalent Plans
What is an “Equivalent plan?”
An equivalent plan provides paid leave benefits that are equal to or greater than those provided by Paid Leave Oregon. Employers with approved equivalent plans, and employees working for an equivalent plan employer, do not have to pay their portion of the contribution to Paid Leave Oregon. If you already offer paid leave to your employees or are thinking about doing so, you can apply for an equivalent plan.
In August, we will share detailed information about how to apply for an equivalent plan, including an equivalent plan guidebook. For now, here are answers to three frequently asked questions about equivalent plans.
1. What needs to be in an employer’s equivalent plan to be approved by the Employment Department?
Equivalent plans must:
- Provide benefits that are equal to or greater than the benefits offered by the state plan, including:
- Allowing leave for family, medical, and safe-leave reasons
- Providing up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year (plus an additional two weeks for pregnancy-related medical leave)
- Allowing employees to take paid leave one day at a time or for longer periods
- Not impose any additional conditions or restrictions for employees to use paid leave
- Cover all employees who have been continuously employed with the employer for at least 30 calendar days
- Ensure employee contributions are not greater than what would be charged under Paid Leave Oregon
2. What are the types of equivalent plans an employer may provide?
There are two types of equivalent plans.
- Employer-administered equivalent plans – the employer assumes all financial risk associated with the benefits and administration of the equivalent plan, whether the employer or a third-party administrator administers the plan.
- Fully insured equivalent plans – the employer purchases an insurance policy from an insurance company, and the insurance policy administers benefits to employees.
3. When do employers request approval for their equivalent plans and is there a cost?
Employers can submit applications starting in September 2022. The application fee for a new equivalent plan is $250.
Do you have questions about equivalent plans?
Join Paid Leave Oregon for one of our question and answer sessions, “Equivalent Plans Explained,” from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Tuesday, from Aug. 16, 2022, through Sept. 13, 2022. All sessions in English with ASL and Spanish interpretation provided.
Please register in advance for this meeting:
Through the end of August 2022, Paid Leave Oregon is hosting weekly community conversations over Zoom where you can learn more about the Paid Leave Oregon program. Sign-up links are below:
- Tuesdays, 3-4 p.m., en español (Zoom meeting held in Spanish with English and ASL interpretation provided)
- Thursdays, 3-4 p.m., in English (Zoom meeting with ASL and Spanish interpretation provided)
- Fridays, 10-11 a.m., in English (Zoom meeting with ASL and Spanish interpretation provided)
If you need an accommodation, including language translation, please email email@example.com
no later than three business days before the session you plan to attend with your accommodation request.
Employer Resources Page for Frances Online
There is a new section on the Oregon Employment Department’s website with
information specifically for employers and customers who will begin using Frances Online on Sept. 6, 2022. Frances Online will support both Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon.
Beginning with the third quarter filing in 2022, Frances Online will replace the
Oregon Payroll Reporting System (OPRS) and the Employer Account Access (EAA) portal. The system will start supporting Paid Leave Oregon contributions in January 2023. Visit Francesinfo.oregon.gov
to find useful resources for employers, including frequently asked questions and file specifications for the new system.
Opportunities to join Paid Leave Oregon and OED
Are you passionate about providing benefits to others and ensuring businesses,
small employers, and employees are treated fairly? Consider joining the Paid Leave Oregon team at the Oregon Employment Department. Job openings are posted under Employment Department in Workday
Have a question about Paid Leave? Please send us an email or leave us a voicemail, and we will be happy to connect and answer any questions that you have.
Want to learn more about Paid Leave?