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Mandatory Sick Leave Begins Jan. 1 In Portland

A mandatory sick leave ordinance takes effect in Portland on Jan. 1.

The City Council passed the ordinance last March. It requires that employers in Portland provide a minimum of one hour of sick leave for every thirty hours of work by an employee.

To be eligible for the leave, you have to work at least 240 hours a year. For companies that have six or more employees, the leave is paid. It’s unpaid for those working for companies with fewer than six employees.

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz says sick employees are less productive, and they infect their coworkers. Allowing them to stay home, she says, is a public health issue.

“We are joining Seattle and San Francisco and a growing number of cities around the country who are recognizing that the U.S. not having national paid sick leave policies is putting us behind the rest of the industrialized world,” Fritz aid.

The new law also allows employees time off to care for relatives.

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