Required Sick Leave in Portland

It is time to review your sick leave and time off policies if your business is in the City of Portland.

The Portland City Council voted unanimously on March 13, 2013 to mandate that businesses offer sick leave.  The vote makes Portland the fourth U.S. city to mandate sick leave.  The new ordinance will take effect the January 1, 2014.

Under the ordinance, private employers in Portland will have to give employees up to 40 hours of sick leave each year.  Employees will earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  In order for employees to qualify they need to work at least 240 hours per calendar year within Portland.  Businesses with at least six employees will have to offer paid time off while business with less than six employees can provide unpaid leave.  Employees are allowed to accrue and use up to 40 hours of sick time in a calendar year.

If you are an employer that already provides employees with a minimum of 40 hours per calendar year of paid or unpaid time off through a Paid Time Off policy you are not required to provide additional sick leave as long as your polices allow this leave to be taken for the same purposes as the ordinance.

An employee may use paid or unpaid sick time for:

  • Diagnosis, care, or treatment of the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition including, but not limited to, pregnancy, childbirth, post-partum care and preventive medical care.
  • Care for a family member who needs diagnosis, care, treatment of a mental or physical illness, pregnancy, childbirth, post-partum care, injury or health condition and preventive medical care.
  • Purposes described in ORS 659A.272 Domestic Violence, Harassment, Sexual Assault or Stalking.

Sick leave must be taken from the first day of the qualifying absence and used each day thereafter until all accrued hours have been used.  Employees may not take sick leave during their first 90 days of employment.

Employers are required to retain records documenting hours worked and paid/unpaid sick leave taken by employees for a period of at least two years. If you have multiple business locations with employees working between offices, you will need to track all time spent working within Portland. All hours at locations outside of Portland will not count towards the annual requirement or the accrual.

The adopted ordinance can be found

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.