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On March 13th, 2013 the Portland City Council approved a Portland sick leave ordinance that will require businesses in Portland to give employees up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.

This ordinance (effective Jan. 1, 2014) affects employees who work at least 240 hours per calendar year within the city limits. Employees who do not work regularly in the city only count the hours that they work in Portland.

The ordinance requires employers in the City of Portland, or who have employees who perform at least 240 hours of work per calendar year, in the City of Portland to provide sick leave. Employers with six or more employees are to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time (one hour for every 30 hours worked) each calendar year. This also includes employees who perform more than 240 hours of work per year in the City of Portland This applies even if the business is not actually located in the City of Portland (as long as the employer is within the State of Oregon). Employers with five or fewer employees must also provide sick leave under the ordinance, but it will not be required to be paid. Employees are also allowed to carry over up to 40 unused hours from year to year.

More Portland Sick Leave Ordinance Rules

Under the new ordinance, sick leave is generally available for absences resulting from certain illnesses,  injuries, health conditions, diagnoses  and preventative care of the employee or their family members. Specific absences due to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking are also covered. Additional covered absences include the closure of the employee’s place of business or closure of their child’s school generally due to health concerns.

If the employer is already offering sick leave or other time off policies such as paid time off (PTO), they are not required to provide additional time off as long the current sick or PTO offered is available to employees for the same purposes and under the same conditions as under the ordinance.

The ordinance states that employees may use sick leave in increments of one hour and may not use accrued sick leave during the first 90 days of employment. The new ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2014.

Until next time