Portland Requires Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave Starting in 2014 to Employees Who Work in City

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

The Portland City Council has passed a paid sick leave mandate that requires employers to provide paid leave for employees to use for personal and family member illness as well as certain safety concerns. The new ordinance takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014. Employers who already offer paid sick leave or paid time off still need to review, and likely revise, their policies.

Detailed provisions related to accrual rates, carry-over, and other aspects of use and administration are included in the ordinance. There are required postings and record keeping. Employers not in compliance may be subject to enforcement by BOLI or through private lawsuits brought by employees.

Portland joins Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and the entire state of Connecticut, all of which have similar requirements either in effect or set to take effect soon. Many other cities are considering similar legislation.

Importantly, this ordinance applies to any employer who has employees who perform work in the City of Portland, regardless of where the employer is headquartered or where the the employee primarily performs services.

Key aspects of the Portland ordinance include:

Covered employers: Employers with a minimum of six employees must provide paid leave as described below. Small employers—those with a maximum of five employees—must also provide sick time, but it may be unpaid.

Accrual rate: Employees must receive a minimum of one hour of paid (or unpaid for small employers) sick time for every 30 hours of work performed. Full-time exempt employees are presumed to work 40 hours per week.

Counting hours: The accrual is based on hours worked within the City of Portland. This includes employees not regularly employed in Portland but who occasionally perform services in Portland. All hours worked in Portland must be counted.

Carry-over and caps: Employees may accrue a maximum of 40 hours of sick time per calendar year and may carry over a maximum of 40 hours to the next year. If the employee is rehired within six months, the employee must have his or her previous accrued sick time restored.

Cash-outs: Accrued but unused sick time is not required to be paid out upon separation of employment.

Permitted uses of paid sick leave: The ordinance mandates leave for situations that go beyond ordinary sick leave. Employees may use this accrued leave:

  • For the diagnosis, care, or treatment of the employee or the employee’s family member’s mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition.
  • To deal with the consequences of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking (in coordination with Oregon’s Domestic Violence Leave provisions).
  • If a place of business, or a child’s school or place of care, is closed for a public health emergency.

Use of sick time: Employees may use sick time in increments of one hour, unless the employer allows less time and only for an otherwise qualifying absence from work performed in Portland.

Waiting period for new employees: Leave begins accruing immediately upon hire, but may not be used in the first 90 days of employment, unless the employer’s policies otherwise allow for earlier use.

Existing PTO and other paid leave: Employers who already provide paid sick time or other paid time off (“PTO”) do not have to provide additional leave as long as their sick time or PTO policies or practices meet the minimum accrual rates prescribed by this ordinance, and employees have access to the paid leave for the same reasons and in the same manner.

Non-retaliation and enforcement: Employees may not be retaliated against for exercising their rights under the ordinance. The ordinance will be enforced by the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI).

Requiring verification: Employers may require documentation of illness if three consecutive days of leave is used. The employer must pay any cost not covered by insurance of obtaining such documentation. It is not clear how these verification provisions of the ordinance will be reconciled with different rules under the FMLA related to shorter absences and healthcare provider certifications of serious health conditions.

Regulation deadline: The administrative rules governing implementation of the sick leave code must be adopted before Aug. 31, 2013.

Posting requirement: Employers must provide and post notice of employee rights under the ordinance. The notice must be in in English and other languages used to communicate with the employer’s workforce. The city will be preparing a template. Use of a poster is also an acceptable form of notice.

Recordkeeping: Employer must keep records documenting hours work and sick time accrued and used by employees for at least two years.

Davis Wright Tremaine will be monitoring this ordinance, including the publication of proposed regulations. Employers who have questions or concerns, or who wish assistance in providing input on the regulations, are invited to contact us.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Davis Wright Tremaine LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.