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Leave to Attend Criminal Proceeding (Crime Victims' Leave)
Crime Victims’ Leave is a victims’ rights law that grants certain crime victims and immediate family members the right to protected leave from work to attend criminal proceedings. Specifically, employers with six or more employees in the State of Oregon must provide leave for eligible employees to attend criminal proceedings, unless the leave would cause an undue hardship on the employer. ORS 659A.190 to 659A.198.

Q. When is an employee eligible for leave?

A. An eligible employee is an employee who is a crime victim who has worked an average of more than 25 hours per week for at least 180 days prior to taking leave.

Q. Who is considered to be a “crime victim”?

A. In order to be eligible for crime victims’ leave, an employee must have “suffered financial, social, psychological or physical harm as a result of a person felony.” The law treats immediate family members of the person as crime victims as well and defines “immediate family” to include a spouse, domestic partner, father, mother, sibling, child, stepchild, or grandparent.

Q. What qualifies as a criminal proceeding?

A. Any proceeding which constitutes a part of a criminal action or occurs in court in connection with a prospective, pending, or completed criminal action. This includes juvenile proceedings and any other proceeding at which a crime victim has a right to be present. 

Q. What type of notice must an employee provide before using leave?

A. Employers may require employees to provide reasonable notice of their intention to take leave as well as copies of any notices of scheduled proceedings that the employee receives from a law enforcement agency. 

Q. How much leave is an employee entitled to take?

A. There is no specific limit on how much leave an eligible employee make take. Employers are required to provide the employee enough leave to attend the criminal proceeding. Employers may limit the amount of leave an employee takes if it creates an “undue hardship” causing significant difficulty or expense to the employer.

Q. What is an undue hardship?

A. For the purposes of determining an entitlement to leave to attend a criminal proceeding, “undue hardship” means significant difficulty and expense to a business and includes consideration of the size of the covered employer’s business and the covered employer’s critical need for the employee.

Q. Must leave to attend a criminal proceeding be paid?

A. The law does not require that protected leave be paid, except that an eligible employee may use any accrued paid vacation or any other types of accrued paid leave offered by the employer. If the employee has different types of paid leave available, the employer’s policy may dictate the order in which the employee must use paid leave.

July 2019

Nothing on this website is intended as legal advice.  Any responses to specific questions are based on the facts as we understand them, and not intended to apply to any other situations.  This communication is not an agency order.  If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.  We attempt to update the information on this website as soon as practicable following changes or developments in the laws and rules affecting Oregon employers, but we make no warranties or representations, express or implied, about whether the information provided is current.  We urge you to check the applicable statutes and administrative rules yourself and to consult with legal counsel prior to taking action that may invoke employee rights or employer responsibilities or omitting to act when required by law to act.