New Portland City Ordinance Requires Mandatory Sick Leave

lee ann loweToday the City of Portland passed a citywide ordinance which will take effect January 1, 2014 requiring all Portland businesses to provide sick leave to employees. A similar ordinance was instituted in Seattle last year. Under the new Portland ordinance, which applies to all businesses within Portland city limits, businesses with six or more employees will be required to provide employees up to forty hours of paid sick leave per year. Businesses with five or less employees must allow employees to take up to forty hours of unpaid sick leave per year. “Employee” under this ordinance is any individual who has worked at least 240 hours a year within the city limits. Portland employees will earn one hour of sick leave for every thirty hours worked, and will be allowed to use sick time in increments of one hour, or less if allowed by the employer. Employers with sick leave or paid-time-off policies already in effect providing employees with accrual of sick time equal to or exceeding the requirements of the ordinance will not be required to provide additional sick time. Please contact me at llowe@sbhlegal.com if you would like more information regarding this new Portland-wide ordinance.