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Eugene Considers City-Wide Sick Leave Ordinance

City of Eugene

The city of Eugene is considering a sick leave ordinance modeled after one recently passed in Portland. They discussed it at their meeting Wednesday. Not all councilors think it’s a good idea.

Councilor Mike Clark says a citywide sick leave ordinance would be great in an ideal world but…

Clark: "My concern here revolves around the fact that this will cost, in the real world, this will cost our community hundreds and hundreds of jobs."

The Greater Eugene Chamber of Commerce is against the sick leave ordinance.  Councilor Claire Syrett proposed it. She says more than half of the workers in Eugene do not have paid sick time.

Syrett: "Sick workers, children going to school or day care sick, have a real impact on the health of their coworkers and other children. Families in financial stress cannot afford to lose a day's pay and thousands of workers right now in Eugene have zero protection against being fired for calling in sick or having to stay home to care for a sick child."

Councilors are still exploring the proposal. They asked staff to research similar laws passed in San Francisco and Seattle. Portland's ordinance went into effect January 1st of this year.


Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. 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.
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