Portland Proposal For Mandatory Sick Leave Impacts Most Oregon Employers

January, 2013

This month, a Portland Commissioner released a proposal to require employers in the City of Portland, or who have employees who perform at least 240 hours of work in the City of Portland to provide sick leave.

The proposal requires employers with six or more employees to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time (one hour for every 30 hours worked) each calendar year for employees who perform more than 240 hours of work per year in the City of Portland, even if the business is not actually located in the City of Portland (as long as the employer is within the State of Oregon). Employers with five or fewer employees must also provide sick leave under the proposal, but it will not be required to be paid.

Under the new ordinance, sick leave is generally available for absences resulting from certain illness, injury, health conditions, diagnosis, and preventative care of the employee or their family member. Specific absences due to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking are also covered. Additional covered absences include the closure of the employee’s place of business or closure of their child’s school due generally due to health concerns.

Covered employers already offering sick leave or other time off policies such as paid time off (PTO) are not required to provide additional time off as long the current sick or PTO offered is available to employees for the same purposes and under the same conditions as under the proposal.

The Portland City Council is expected to review the proposal on January 31, with a vote expected no earlier than February. If passed, the ordinance will take effect January 1, 2014.


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