City of Portland, Oregon Passes Earned Sick Leave Ordinance

This week, the Portland City Council passed the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. This means starting next year most workers in Portland, Oregon will be able to earn up to a week of paid sick leave.

The Earned Sick Leave Ordinance allows employees who work in Portland for more than 240 hours in a year to earn one hour of sick time per 30 hours worked, and then use up to five days of earned sick time per year for qualified absences.

Qualifying absences include:

  • Diagnosis, care, or treatment of the employee’s, or the employee’s family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition including, but not limited to,  pregnancy, childbirth,  post-partum care and  preventive medical care
  • Purposes related domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking
  • Specified reasons related to public health risks and emergencies

Employees in businesses with 6 or more employees will be eligible for paid sick time.  Those working in businesses with 5 or fewer employees need not be paid for time off due to sickness, but they will have the right to use their earned sick leave without fear of retribution.

Next year, employers will also be required to post a notice of rights under the Ordinance in the workplace.

Portland’s new sick leave standards go into effect January 1, 2014. Three other cities—Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, DC—already offer sick leave.

Stay tuned!

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