Overview of Oregon Paid Sick Time Campaign
On June 12, 2015, the Oregon Legislature passed a statewide bill to guarantee paid sick time! Oregon is now the fourth state in the country to guarantee paid sick time on a statewide basis, joining Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts.
Passage of this law is a huge win for the nearly 500,000 workers in Oregon who currently receive no paid sick time! A Better Balance helped to draft the law (as we did with the prior laws that passed in Portland in 2013 and Eugene in 2014) and we provided additional legal support throughout this multi-year campaign.
Oregon's paid sick time law preempts—or prohibits—local governments from passing paid sick time laws but allows certain elements of the pre-existing Portland law to survive (as described below, the employer size threshold for providing paid sick time will remain lower for employers who are located in Portland).
However, Eugene’s paid sick time law, scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2015, will no longer take effect.
Congratulations to Andrea Paluso of Family Forward Oregon, and the entire paid sick days coalition in Oregon, on this statewide victory. The Oregon paid sick time law will set a strong standard for future statewide paid sick time bills.
About Oregon’s Paid Sick Time Law
Under Oregon’s paid sick time law, workers are entitled to earn paid or unpaid (but job-protected) sick time according to the size and location of their employer:
Larger businesses: Workers in businesses with at least 10 or more employees can use up to 40 hours of earned paid sick time a year.
Employers located in Portland: If a business is located in Portland (including maintaining any office, store, restaurant, or establishment in the city) and has at least 6 employees anywhere in Oregon, workers have the right to use up to 40 hours of earned paid sick time a year.
Smaller businesses: Workers in businesses with fewer than 10 workers (or fewer than 6 workers if the business is located in Portland) have the right to use up to 40 hours of unpaid (but job-protected) earned sick time a year.
Special rule for some home care workers: All home care workers are covered by the law, but certain home care workers who are hired directly by the client but whose compensation is funded in whole or part by payments from the State, county, or a public agency must receive up to 40 hours of paid time off a year (including but not limited to sick time).
Under the law, workers can use sick time to recover from their own illness or to care for sick family members. The law covers an employee’s child, spouse, same-sex domestic partner, parent, parent of a spouse or same-sex domestic partner, grandparent, or grandchild. Sick time can also be used: 1) to address the effects of domestic violence on the employee or the employee’s minor child or dependent; 2) to bond with a newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed foster child under age 18; and/or 3) to deal with the death of a family member (including attending the funeral, making arrangements, and grieving).
Oregon’s paid sick time law will take effect on January 1, 2016.
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