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Oregon Leads in Care Infrastructure

You are currently viewing Oregon Leads in Care Infrastructure
Oregon's paid leave program is one of the best.
  • Post category:news

An organization based in New York City known as The Century Foundation annually grades states on the quality of their “care infrastructure.” This is to say, they assign grades to states based on how they take care of employees on average. They take into consideration things like wages, paid sick leave, paid time off, access to adequate childcare, working conditions, and more. The organization is self-described as “harsh graders,” at least according to one fellow at the foundation, Laura Valle-Gutierrez. According to her, a grade of B+ or higher is a huge deal, marking very good standards of the state.

Oregon was the only state to be given a B+.

According to the report card written by The Century Foundation, Oregon specifically had great evidence supporting strong childcare support as well as paid family and medical leave. The state also recently increased wages for people in the care industry and implemented further laws protecting workers.

In addition to Oregon, only 12 other states (and Washington D.C.) have paid family and medical leave programs. Oregon’s program in particular is considered one of the strongest and wide-reaching, which helped in The Century Foundation’s grading scale. Because Oregon’s standards are not only objectively good, but also are comparatively much better than other states, it boosted the score significantly.

One issue that was overlooked lies in Oregon’s paid vacation program.

In September of 2023, Oregon launched a new paid leave program. This program went live over eight months after it was originally supposed to, which was the first big issue. Now, the program has partially served its purpose, aiding thousands of people; however, there have been major issues with it. Thousands of Oregon residents have stated they have experienced significant delays when trying to access their benefits. Anytime residents have issues and have to call customer service, they have reported hold times lasting over an hour. Some argue this was overlooked when scoring the state, as yes, the benefits available are good, but actually to use them has been proving nearly impossible for many.

Overall, many are happy with the employment protections in Oregon, and the score reflects that. As long as Oregon can improve their program service, they will certainly be making everyone happy!

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