If an Oregon employee requests bereavement leave, what are the employer/employee obligations?

Author: Melissa Burdorf, XpertHR Legal Editor

Oregon employers subject to the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) (i.e., those with 25 or more employees working in Oregon) must allow OFLA-eligible employees to take up to two weeks of unpaid leave per death of a covered family member (e.g., spouse, child, parent-in-law, grandparent), up to 12 weeks total per year, in order to attend the funeral or alternative type of service, make necessary arrangements or grieve the death of the family member. An employee may start bereavement leave without prior notice to his or her employer; however, the employee (or someone acting on the employee's behalf) must provide oral notice within 24 hours of taking leave and written notice within three days of returning to work.

Unlike other types of OFLA leave, an employer may not reduce an employee's two-week leave entitlement if the employee fails to provide timely notice. An employee has 60 days from the date on which the employee receives notice of the death to complete his or her leave. An employer may not require an employee to take multiple periods of leave concurrently if more than one family member dies during the one-year leave period. In addition, spouses or same-gender domestic partners who work for the same employer may take bereavement leave at the same time.