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Eugene Council Discusses Sick Leave Ordinance

City of Eugene

The Eugene City Council is considering an ordinance that would require employers to provide sick leave to their workers.

The proposal was brought forward Monday night by Councilors Alan Zelenka and Claire Syrett. Eugene would follow Portland and Seattle, which have sick leave ordinances in place. Syrett said 25-thousand workers in Eugene don't have sick leave.

Claire Syrett: "I recognize that many in the business community are going to view this as a burden on them and another regulation, but just as we set a minimum wage and set rules on health and safety issues in the workplace, this is a policy that is seeking to promote economic and physical health in our community and results in workers having more money in their pockets."

The council would like to hear from the business community. The matter likely won't be brought up for several months as there are a lot of other tasks on the city's agenda. Councilors Mike Clark and George Poling do not support a sick leave ordinance.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.