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Lane County Board Acts Against Eugene Sick Leave Ordinance

Rachael McDonald

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has made the unprecedented move of barring cities in the county from passing laws that impact employment. The vote Monday morning is meant to pre-empt the City of Eugene's efforts to pass a sick leave ordinance.

The board passed three ordinances. The most far reaching is one that says no local government in Lane County can enact a "resolution that mandates, regulates or requires any terms or conditions of employment for any employer." Commissioner Jay Bozievich says he doesn’t usually argue against local control. But he makes an exception with terms and conditions of employment.

"If we're going to step into that relationship, I think it needs to be at the state level."

Board Chair Pat Farr was the lone vote against the ordinance.
The other two were unanimously approved. They exempt the county and its employees and other municipalities in the county from the sick leave ordinance. Commissioner Sorenson, who supports Eugene's sick leave law, is out of town-- and didn't vote.
Sick leave advocate Laurie Trieger says she hopes Eugene moves ahead with the issue. She points out that the board's public hearing was held Monday morning when most working people cannot participate.

The city of Eugene holds its public hearing on the draft sick leave ordinance Monday evening. The council could vote as soon as tonight or before the end of the month.


Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. 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. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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