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Eugene Approves Sick Leave Ordinance

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The Eugene City Council has joined Seattle, Portland and San Francisco in approving a mandatory sick leave law. The ordinance passed Monday on a 5-3 vote.

The ordinance requires employers to provide workers with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours work, up to a maximum of 40 hours a year.
The law will go into effect next July. It applies to all Eugene businesses and nonprofits. Eugene City Councilor Claire Syrett co-sponsored the sick leave rule. She says more than half of Eugene's workers do not get paid time off when they're sick and some even face retaliation when they take unpaid time.

Syrett: "The main point is to provide the thousands of Eugene workers who do not have this kind of protection with this basic workplace protection so that they can stay home and take care of themselves in the event of an illness like the flu or the common cold or if they're child is sick or another family member."

Councilors George Poling, Mike Clark, and Chris Pryor voted against it. They're concerned the ordinance will hurt businesses.
Lane County commissioners last week passed three ordinances meant to limit or totally block the proposed Eugene city law, setting up a potential legal battle.


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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