PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A new law in Oregon is making a difference for workers and their paychecks.

Paid Leave Oregon, which took effect Jan. 1, 2023, ensures workers can take protected time off to care for themselves or a loved one.

The program allows up to 12 weeks of paid leave for things like illness, injury, pregnancy and benefits for people dealing with domestic violence or stalking, according to benefits expert John Henry, of insurance provider Total Benefit Solutions.

Henry also says contributions to the program will be taken out of employee paychecks noting, “if an employer has more than 25 employees, then the employer pays 40%, and employees pay 60% and the current premium is 1% of payroll.”

Henry advises employers to look out for two important dates if they choose to opt out of Paid Leave Oregon for a private plan.

Feb. 28 marks the deadline to stop deductions from April through September, and May 31 is the deadline to stop deductions from July through September, Henry explained.

However, Henry points out that “the State of Oregon allows employers to opt out and choose an equivalent plan from a private insurance company and sometimes those equivalent plans can cost less and offer additional services.”