Portland’s Sick Leave Ordinance—What Every Employer Should Know

by Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Contact

Effective January 1, 2014, Portland’s sick leave ordinance goes into effect. The ordinance applies to any private sector employer (both within and outside of the state of Oregon) that employs individuals who work within the city of Portland.

The requirements of the ordinance vary depending upon the number of employees an employer has who meet certain requirements. Employees are defined as individuals who have worked at least 240 hours in a “year” within the geographical boundaries of the city of Portland. Worked time includes telecommuting time during which the employee telecommutes in the city of Portland. Worked time also includes travel time during which an employee enters into the city of Portland, for example for meetings, deliveries, etc. A year is defined as any consecutive 12-month period that is normally used by the employer for purposes of calculating benefits.

Employers with six or more employees meeting those threshold requirements must provide a minimum of one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours of work performed by that employee within the city of Portland. Smaller employers, those with five or less employees, must provide covered employees with a minimum of one hour of unpaid sick time for every 30 hours of work performed by the employee within the city of Portland.

Under the ordinance, employees may accrue a maximum of 40 hours of sick time in a calendar year, unless the employer provides or is contractually obligated to provide more. An employer may provide sick time equivalent to the maximum 40 hours per year at the beginning of the calendar year to meet the requirement for accrual (also called “frontloading”). Additionally, employees must be allowed to carry over unused sick time from one year to the next. However, an employer is not required to allow an employee to carry over more than 40 accrued hours, and employers are not required to allow employees to use more than 40 hours of sick time under the ordinance in any year. Employers may, but are not required to, cash out unused sick leave upon an employee’s termination. Whether unused sick time will be cashed out should be made clear in the employer’s policy.

Qualifying employees must be permitted to use paid sick time in one-hour increments for several purposes, including (1) to care for their own sickness or the sickness of a family member; (2) for leave relating to Oregon’s protections afforded to victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking; (3) for leave necessitated by the closure of the employee’s workplace or the employee’s child’s school because of a public health emergency; (4) for leave to care for a family member whose presence in the community jeopardizes the health of others; and (5) a leave of absence necessitated when the employer is required by law to exclude the employee from the workplace for health reasons.

The ordinance applies to both hourly, non-exempt employees and salaried, exempt employees. Hourly employees who are entitled to paid leave under the ordinance must be paid at their regular rate of pay. Exempt employees are paid at an hourly rate determined by dividing the employee’s annual salary by 52, and then dividing the weekly salary by the number of hours in the employee’s normal workweek (presumed to be 40 hours).

Employers must provide notice to employees of their rights under the ordinance. This includes posting a notice in each building and worksite in an area accessible to, and regularly frequented by, employees. Employers must also provide—no less than quarterly—written notification to employees of the amount of accrued but unused sick time available to each employee. The initial notification for current employees must start no later than the end of the employer’s first pay period in 2014, and at the end of the first pay period for new employees.

An employer that already has a paid time off (PTO) policy that provides a minimum of 40 hours of PTO per calendar year, or an employer with five or less employees that provides a minimum of 40 hours of unpaid time off per calendar year, is not required to provide additional paid sick leave under the ordinance. However, employers with PTO policies must still ensure that those policies comply with certain notice, posting, and recordkeeping requirements of the ordinance. Further, an employee who uses PTO for one of the qualifying purposes under the ordinance has additional rights and is protected against retaliation.

An employer that fails to provide sick time consistent with the ordinance may be fined equal to three times the dollar amount of sick time the employee was refused or $250 (whichever is greater).

Note: This article was published in the December 4, 2013 issue of the Oregon eAuthority.

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.

© Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Contact
more
less

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. 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.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

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.

Security

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.