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Oregon Lawmakers Propose Paid Sick Leave for All Workers

December 19, 2014

Legislation pending in the Oregon Senate Committee on Business and Transportation would require all employers in the state to implement paid sick time for all employees.

The bill would allow workers to accrue at least 56 hours of paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 36 hours worked. Workers would be compensated if they miss work due to injury, illness, or domestic abuse.

According to the bill, workers cannot be required by their employer to find their own replacements or make up missed days. About 43,000 direct-care workers in Oregon will benefit if the bill is passed.

“Nobody should have to choose between their job and their health, or the health of family members,” Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-Beaverton) is quoted as saying in the Statesman Journal.

Earlier this year, Portland and Eugene — the state’s largest cities — implemented similar policies, guaranteeing all workers one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they worked.

Paid Sick Leave Around the U.S.

Connecticut and Massachusetts recently granted all workers paid sick leave. In addition to Portland and Eugene, 16 cities have passed laws guaranteeing paid sick leave, including 10 in 2014 alone, according to the organization Family Values @ Work.

Pending legislation in California would extend existing paid sick leave coverage to home care workers because they were excluded in previous sick leave legislation.

Nationwide, an estimated 80 percent of low-income workers — a category that includes most direct-care workers — do not get paid sick days.

— by Aravind Krishnan, PHI Policy Research Intern

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