State-Funded Temporary Paid Leave Benefits for Eligible Oregon Employees

Legal Alert
COVID-19 Resource Hub

On Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority sent a helpful reminder about a little-publicized benefit available to eligible Oregon employees in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: temporary paid leave funded by the State of Oregon and administered by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (“DCBS”).  Generally, the program provides $120 per day up to a maximum of 10 working days to employees who are unable to work or telework because they are required to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or symptoms and do not otherwise have access to paid time off.

Here are the specific eligibility requirements:

  • The employee must work in Oregon and be required to file an Oregon personal income tax return. (Note: the paid leave amounts are taxable.)
  • The employee must have been directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health care provider because of exposure to someone infected or have COVID-19-related symptoms and be seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • The employee must not be able to work (including telework) because of the need to quarantine or isolate.
  • The employee does not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020.
  • The employee’s employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave, or the employee has exhausted his or her available COVID-19-related paid sick leave.
  • The employee must not be applying for unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation.
  • The employee must not be applying for workers’ compensation benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The employee must not be seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state.
  • The employee must not be applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from the employer during quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave.
  • The employee must not have been laid off or furloughed by the employer.
  • The employee must have notified the employer of the need to quarantine or isolate.
  • An employee can claim only one quarantine period.
  • The employee must not be self-employed.

Employees who wish to apply for the leave must do so through DCBS using a form available at DCBS has also published a flier with information about the benefit and set up a telephone resource center that can be reached at 833-685-0850 or 503-947-0130.

The program is funded with $30 million received from the federal government to help Oregonians respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far, the state has distributed just under $2 million in benefits. The program will conclude when all funds have been distributed, or by December 31, 2020, whichever comes first.

If you have questions about the temporary leave program, please contact any of our L&E attorneys.

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