a slippery slope leading to compassion and decency.
"San Francisco was the trailblazer: Since 2007, it has required every employer to provide paid sick leave, which workers can use when they or a family member are sick. Workers there accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours they work, and can accumulate up to 72 hours of sick leave (40 hours at workplaces with fewer than 10 employees.)" -…

Speaking as a small business owner, that's an eminently reasonable policy.
This is the reason big business likes to hire contractors, no paid holidays and no sick leave. I really hope this passes.
Wow faulty math at work, 1 hr of sick leave per 40 hrs worked. 2080 work hrs/yr divided by 40 hours=52 hours of sick leave/yr. The Mercury must have you on those crazy 26 hr work days. You should probably find a more humane place to work Sarah. Also don't forget some places don't give you time off specifically classified as "sick leave," instead it is grouped together w/ vacation as something called accrued paid leave.
I work in the payroll department for a large-ish company with locations in Oregon and Washington, and I'm pro this. The Seattle rollout was a bit weird: we had a hard time getting specifics on the new law from the city, but overall it wasn't a hardship for my company. I'd like to see something similar come to Portland, if not state-wide.
Yes, and as you point out it would also cut down on disease transmission. Also, if your child is sick keep them at home! Do I really need to explain this?
@LokNaar, If they are hiring "contractors" but treating them functionally the same as employees, that's not going to fly. In a nutshell, independent contractors need to be precisely that, or that employer is going to get in big trouble.

However, no small or large business is made or broken by paying holidays and a 5 days of sick leave in a calendar year (or 9 days for large businesses). Any decent employer understands that treating your people well is, if for no more admirable purpose, good business: happy workers are better and more easily managed than unhappy ones.
For some reason I was prepared to think this was going to be a silly entitlement but then no one hour per forty is completely reasonable and not that much to ask and this should pass.
@Commenty Colin: While everything you say about independent contractors is true, the situation on the ground is a lot murkier. In order for companies to get in trouble for violating grey areas of independent contractor law, individual employees need to be willing to stand up for themselves and legally pursue violations. Beyond inviting the stress of a lawsuit into their lives, an individual risks their future career in any industry for being The Person who Sued Their Company™.

For large companies like Regence, Microsoft, Intel, etc. that have HR policies extensibly designed to prevent this sort of abuse, an entire industry of middleman has risen to fill the shady practice gap. Temp agencies and consulting companies shoulder the burden/risk of tricking employees (i.e. temp workers and consultants) out of their rights, and then the companies themselves invent "flex" positions if they find a temp or contractor they really like to further control costs and avoid giving workers rights mandated by laws.

I'd love to see Portland pass this law, if only to remind people they have not only employment rights, but the right to basic human decency. But even if the law passes, in practice it will mean less vacation time and more reliance on the aforementioned middle men.
I have to sit next to (or in front of, allowing them to sneeze on my manly and muscular neck) those people heading to work sick on the bus. Let's get 'em some goddamn sick leave.
"For some reason I was prepared to think this was going to be a silly entitlement"

That's cause you're kind of a me-me asshole.
Our small business - Milagros - provides earned paid leave for all of our staff. The reasoning as to why we do this is pretty straight ahead.

If my staff can take time off when they are ill without income loss or fear of job loss or demerits or whatever, then I can rest assured that they aren't showing up sick and getting their co-workers and my customers sick. And since we let them use paid leave to take care of sick family members, they aren't sending a sick kid to school or daycare just because no one can stay home to care for their child.

Before we started our business 9 years ago my wife taught grade school. Trust me, this is a BIG issue in terms of public health.

There is also a very basic fairness doctrine here. Namely, my employees support me, so I should support them.

If I get a cold, I don't have to worry about my job. If my kids are sick, I don't have to worry about whether or not someone can stay home and care for them. The people who provide me with this peace of mind deserve the same support from me.

The fact that I provide this basic labor standard - being able to recover from an illness without fear - shouldn't make my business an exception or gain me any special high fives or whatever. It really should be the norm.

Before WalMart or whoever comes in here and drives any consideration for workers into the ground (or deeper), Portland should take up this issue and get it done.
I really support this! its time has come! this is just plain common sense having a healthy work force policy like all mature industrial nations of the world. Thanks to Amanda Fritz for leading this effort.

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