Last fall we told you about the new Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) ordinance passed by the city of Seattle that requires certain employers within that city to provide paid time off to employees. The Portland City Council is now considering a similar ordinance for employers with employees in Portland. The Council will consider the proposal on Thursday this week, and will likely vote on it in February.
The ordinance would require employers that have employees within the city with more than six employees to provide 40 hours, or five work days, of paid sick time per year to employees who work more than 240 hours per year. Employers with five or fewer employees must also provide sick leave, but it can be unpaid. Employees will be able to bank one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers that already have a paid time off policy that provides the same or better benefits will already comply with the new ordinance, and would not be required to provide additional paid time off.
The law would prohibit covered employers from denying employees leave, or retaliating against them for requesting and taking it. Aggrieved employees can file a charge with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) or file a lawsuit "for damages and such other remedies as may be appropriate."
We’ll continue to monitor this proposal and keep you updated, especially of course if it passes. If that happens, it would become effective in January 2014.