The state of Oregon, and the city of Portland in particular, have been seen as one of the most pro-employee states in the country, with the second highest minimum wage and many liberal
employee friendly laws. In 2013, Portland became one of only a handful of jurisdictions to approve an employment ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave for employees.
Seattle, D.C., San Francisco, and the state of Connecticut already had such laws.
The basics of the law include the following:
· Employees may accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked;
· Both full-time and part-time employees may accrue up to 40 hours of sick time per year (or more if company policy allows);
· Businesses with fewer than six employees must provide sick leave, but do not have to pay employees for the time off;
· Employees are entitled to take the sick leave as soon as they accrue it (companies may no longer have requirements that employees must work at the company for a certain
period of time prior to getting paid sick leave).
How the law affects businesses
Many small businesses are struggling to adjust to the new laws for a couple of main reasons. First, some businesses must make budget cuts in order to pay employees for sick leave. Other
companies must implement systems to track employee hours closely if they did not do so before.
Within the Portland city limits, there are an estimated 62,500 private businesses with 776,000 employees that are expected to immediately comply with the new ordinance. The city has posted
a website solely dedicated to helping business owners understand and comply with the Portland Protected Sick Time Ordinance. There are several pages of frequently asked questions, training
session schedules and enrollment, and more information on the new law. Furthermore, private human resources consultants have stated the new law has caused a boom in their business, due to
companies wishing to adapt their policies to be compliant. Overall, city officials understand that there may be an adjustment period, and therefore do not plan on issuing citations for
noncompliance until May. However, if a company egregiously or purposefully refuses to comply,it may be cited before then.
If you are a Portland business owner, you want to make sure you are in compliance with all of the changing employment laws at the local, state, and federal level to avoid citations or legal
action against you. An experienced employment attorney in Oregon can help you understand the laws and can also represent you if an employee claims you have violated the law. Additionally, if
you are an employee in Portland, you are entitled to your full protections under the law. IF you believe your employer has violated an employment law, do not hesitate to call an employment
law firm to help stand up for your rights. Whether you are an employee or employer, call HKM Employment Attorneys for help.