Portland City Council Passes Protected Sick Time Law

gavelBy Tom Faricy, SPHR, HR Business Partner, Trupp HR.

On March 13, 2013, the Portland City Council unanimously voted to approve a new sick leave ordinance, providing protections for sick leave for all employees, and mandatory paid sick time for employees of businesses that employ six or more. Portland joins ranks with cities like Seattle and San Francisco, which require employers to provide mandatory sick leave for their workers.

The city will soon begin drafting the specific regulations of the ordinance and entering them into city code. Employers will be required to comply with the new law beginning January 1, 2014.

Highlights of Portland’s new protected sick time ordinance

The new law takes effect on January 1, 2014.

The new ordinance applies to any employee who has worked at least 240 hours in a calendar year within the geographic boundaries of the City.

Employers with a minimum of six employees are required to provide at least one hour of paid Sick Time for every 30 hours of work performed by the employee, up to 40 hours.

Employers with a maximum of five employees are required to provide a minimum of one hour of unpaid Sick Time for every 30 hours of work performed by the employee, up to 40 hours.

The hours can be accrued throughout the year, or the full balance placed in the employee’s accrual account all at once at the beginning of the year.

Employers who already provide sick time or a paid time off (PTO) benefit (time off where no reason needs to be given) at least equal to this ordinance are compliant with this rule.

Use it or lose it rules do not apply.  Employees must be allowed to carry over sick time from year to year, up to 40 hours.

Specific rules are yet to be written. Watch for updates as they unfold to ensure you meet the requirements by January 1, 2014.

Additional resources

Follow the links below for additional information.

Download the ordinance

Barran Liebman Article

OregonLive Article