State laws

Paid sick leave becomes law in Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown

Photo: The office of the Governor

Salem, OR – Oregon will soon become the fourth state in the nation to guarantee paid sick leave for workers, under a bill signed into law June 22 by Gov. Kate Brown (D).

Beginning Jan. 1, employers in the state with 10 or more workers must implement a policy allowing those workers to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year. Employers with fewer than 10 workers must allow employees to accrue up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave annually.

Oregon now joins California, Connecticut and Massachusetts with paid sick leave laws on the books, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families, a Washington-based nonprofit organization pushing for family-friendly workplace policies. Several municipalities, including New York City and the District of Columbia, also have laws allowing workers to earn paid sick time.

About 40 percent of the U.S. workforce does not have access to paid sick leave, the partnership states. Advocates assert that providing paid leave for workers who are sick or who must stay home to care for ill family members can help reduce the spread of contagions in the workplace, boost productivity and lower health care costs.

“No one should go to work sick [because] they are afraid of losing their livelihood,” Brown said in a tweet sent prior to a July 14 signing ceremony for the legislation.