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News Release
Director Erickson Announces Committee to Advise on Paid Family and Medical Leave - 11/14/19

(Salem, OR) — On November 14, 2019, Director Kay Erickson of the Oregon Employment Department announced the members of a committee charged with advising the department on implementing the new paid family and medical leave insurance program in Oregon.

“All Oregonians should have access to paid family and medical leave insurance. We all need time to give or receive care at some point in our lives. The new program is designed to help Oregonians take paid time off when it’s most important, and to help Oregon businesses support their workers while thriving and growing through increased workforce participation and employee retention,” said Director Erickson.

Oregon is the ninth state (including Washington D.C.) to pass legislation and work to implement a paid family and medical leave insurance program. “Oregon is at the forefront of implementing this critical program, serving as a model for the nation. This new program will help support workers as they bond with their children during the first year after that child’s birth or adoption, care for a family member who has a serious health condition, deal with their own serious health condition, or issues related to the need for ‘safe leave’ such as domestic violence, stalking, harassment, or sexual assault,” added Director Erickson.

The advisory committee includes: a chair from the Oregon Employment Department, four members representing employee interests, and four members representing employer interests, at least one of whom represents employers that have fewer than 25 employees. This citizen and stakeholder led advisory committee was established by House Bill 2005, passed during the 2019 legislative session.

“More than 50 people submitted interest in participating on the advisory committee. It is encouraging to see such strong interest in, and commitment to, this new program and it was a difficult process to choose members from a qualified group of candidates. We sought people who could bring forward their perspectives, represent those in other groups of workers and businesses, and who can collaborate on difficult issues to help make paid family and medical leave insurance work for all Oregonians,” said David Gerstenfeld, Interim Director of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program.

The department also anticipates that the advisory committee will sponsor workgroups that will involve more people beyond committee members. “It simply is not possible to fully represent all of the situations Oregon workers and businesses face with only nine committee members. We hope the many qualified people who expressed interest in serving on the advisory committee, along with other citizens and stakeholders, will help by providing their suggestions and insights as the department continues to implement this exciting new program,” said Gerstenfeld.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Advisory Committee:

  • David Gerstenfeld, Oregon Employment Department, Chair
  • Amanda Dalton, Dalton Advocacy
  • Jenny Dresler, Public Affairs Counsel
  • Linda Herrera, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN)
  • Eric Hunter, CareOregon
  • Andrea Paluso, Family Forward Oregon
  • Eva Rippeteau, Oregon American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • Paloma Sparks, Oregon Business & Industry
  • Jessica Giannettino Villatoro, Oregon American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

For more information on the new paid family and medical leave insurance program in Oregon, to sign up for updates, and follow the advisory committee, visit the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance page on the Oregon Employment Department’s website. 



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