Eugene Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

July, 2014

On July 28, 2014, Eugene passed its paid sick leave ordinance, which will take effect on July 1, 2015. For those familiar with Portland's sick leave ordinance, Eugene's ordinance is very similar. Here are some of the key provisions from Eugene's ordinance:

  • Employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked in the city.
  • Employees must be allowed to accrue and use at least 40 hours of sick leave each year.
  • Employees begin accruing leave immediately, but cannot take leave until they have worked at least 90 days for an employer.
  • Employees may take leave for their own or a family member's illness or injury, as well as any reason allowed under Oregon's domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment statute.
  • The city will be creating rules to develop these key areas of the law:
    • Expanding on the reasons for taking leave;
    • Creating recordkeeping requirements;
    • Creating enforcement measures;
    • Defining what constitutes work in the city for employers not within the city limits of Eugene; and
    • Approving employer measures for the prevention of employee abuse of sick leave.

The Eugene ordinance is also different from Portland's ordinance in several notable respects:

  • While Portland requires sick leave to be paid only for employers with 6 or more employees, Eugene's ordinance requires paid sick leave, regardless of an employer's size.
  • Unlike Portland, which allows employers to limit the carryover of sick leave to 40 hours per year, Eugene has no limit on the amount of sick leave that can be carried over from year to year.
  • Portland allows an employer to impose a requirement that employees must work at least 240 hours in the city before being eligible to use sick leave. Eugene imposes that requirement only for employers located outside of the city limits. Therefore, employers who are within the city limits must allow their employees to use sick leave if they have worked for the employer for 90 days, even if they have not yet worked 240 hours. This distinction will only apply to employers located in the city of Eugene with part-time employees who work less than about 18 hours per week.

As always, Cascade will monitor all future rulemaking and clarification of Eugene's new ordinance. For questions, contact Cascade today.


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