On June 12, 2015, Oregon passed legislation that requires the majority of employers with 10 or more employees to give employees up to 40 hours a year of paid sick leave. The new sick leave law applies to full-time and part-time hourly, salaried, commissioned and piece rate employees, and home care employees who receive payment from the Oregon Department of Human Services. Those excluded from the new law include independent contractors, employees who receive paid sick leave under federal law, certain work-training or work-study programs, and children employed by their parents.

The law will go into effect starting January 1st, 2016, as paid sick leave will immediately begin to accrue for current employees at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Some other important factors to note include:

  • Oregon employers will not be required to pay out accrued sick leave balances when an employee resigns or is terminated, but accrued time must be restored to a an employee who has been rehired within 180 days.
  • Employers may require employees to make reasonable attempts to schedule sick leave and provide reasonable notice whenever possible.
  • Employers may only require documentation for periods of 3 days or more.
  • The Portland sick leave city ordinance will remain in effect at the 6 employee benchmark, but comply with new state law in all other aspects.

Before the law goes into effect, it is important for employers to review their current sick leave policies to determine whether or not they will need to make changes to comply by the beginning of 2016.