HR Alert

Oregon Amends Paid Sick Leave Law

Law Addresses Coverage, PTO Programs, and More

Oregon has amended its sick leave law. Highlights of the changes are presented below.

Employer Coverage and Limitation of Accrual and Use
Under the amended law, an employer may adopt a policy that limits an employee to accruing no more than 80 total hours of sick time, and may adopt a policy that limits an employee to using no more than 40 hours of sick time in a year.

The amended law excludes from the definition of "employer located in a city with a population exceeding 500,000" an employer that maintains only a seasonal farm stand or a trailer that is used temporarily on a construction site solely for office purposes.

Counting Certain Business Owners
For purposes of determining the number of employees employed by an employer, certain individuals (or parents, spouses, or children of the individuals) are excluded from the count of employees because of (among other things) their substantial ownership interest in a corporation, limited liability company, or limited liability partnership, or because the individual is a sole proprietor of a business.

Payment Rate of Certain Piece-Rate and Commissioned Employees
The amendments require employers with 10 or more employees (working anywhere in Washington) to pay for accrued sick time used of an employee who is paid an hourly, weekly, or monthly wage and is also paid on commission or piece-rate basis at a rate equivalent to the employee's hourly, weekly or monthly wage, or equal to the state minimum wage--whichever is greater.

Employer PTO Programs
An employer with a sick leave policy, paid vacation policy, paid personal time off policy, or other paid time off program that is substantially equivalent to or more generous to the employee than the minimum requirements of the state sick leave law must (at a minimum) comply with the requirements of the state sick leave law for the first 40 hours that the employer's policy provides per year; and need not comply with the requirements of the sick leave law beyond the first 40 hours that the employer's policy provides per year.

The changes above are generally applicable to hours worked and sick time accrued or used on or after January 1, 2018; however, the law became effective as of July 1, 2017. Click here to read the text of the amended law.

Background
All employers with 10 or more employees (6 or more employees if an employer is located in a city with a population exceeding 500,000) in Oregon must provide up to 40 hours of paid leave per year. Employers with less than 10 employees (less than 6 for employers located in a city with a population exceeding 500,000) must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid protected sick time. The State of Oregon offers certain resources for employers, including FAQs and the text of the regulations.

Click here to read the text of the amended law.


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