The Oregon Employment Department (OED) says it has received more than 10,000 applications for the new Paid Leave Oregon program. But thousands of those are pending, prompting the department to remind employees to provide all the necessary information.
The program covers things like paid family leave, medical leave and safe leave for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and harassment.
Employees can take up to 12 weeks paid leave in a 52-week period. If pregnant, an employee may be able to take up to 14 weeks total.
OED says 10,200 applications have been received and 1,828 have been approved.
About 9,000 remain pending. OED Communications Director Rebeka Gipson-King says the department is confident that it will be able to process claims “in a timely manner.” She says it takes about 25 minutes to process a claim, but that staff is getting faster at it with experience.
Gipson-King says one big factor in some of the processing delays is incomplete information by the applicant, such as not attaching the supporting documents that are needed for a specific type of leave.
Employees are urged to check the toolkit on the OED website and review the checklist and employee guidebook so they are prepared with the correct documents when they apply for benefits.
Additionally, OED has to send employers a questionnaire when an employee asks for a specific kind of leave. That can also delay the response.