Commencing on January 1st, 2016 employers with employees based in Oregon will be required to provide paid sick leave. Although this bill is pending a signature from Governor Kate Brown, it’s expected to be obtained shortly. There are three different rules for employers:

  • Employers with more than 10 Oregon employees must provide employees with up to forty hours of paid sick leave per year
  • Employers in Portland, Oregon must offer the paid sick leave if they employ more than 6 employees
  • Employers who employ less than 10 employees have to offer the sick leave, but it can be unpaid

This new law is applied statewide, and preempts similar city ordinances. This sick leave can be used for sick leave, medical appointments, all Oregon family leave reasons, public health emergencies that preclude an employee from working, domestic violence, and crime leaves. Employees may also donate sick leave to other employees who need it for eligible purposes.

Sick time is accrued at the start of employment but may not be used until the 91st calendar day of employment. One hour is accrued for every 30 hours worked. Unused sick time, of up to 40 hours, can be carried over to the following year, or cashed out if mutually agreed. There is a cap of 80 hours accumulation if sick time is carried over to the following year.

If an employee leaves before their 91st day of employment, and is reinstated within 180 days they must be credited with their prior accruals. Employers must issue quarterly updates to employees outlining the amount of sick time they have available.