Oregon is one of a handful of states that have passed sick leave laws in recent years. Oregon’s law applies to all employers, although smaller employers are not required to pay for the leave. Below, we explain the rules for sick leave eligibility, accrual, use, and more.
All employees in Oregon are eligible for paid sick leave, including home care workers. Employees begin accruing leave as soon as they are hired, but they aren’t eligible to use accrued leave until they have worked for at least 90 days.
Oregon employers with ten or more employees must provide paid sick leave; employers with nine or fewer employees may provide unpaid sick leave. The rules are different for Portland employers: those with six or more employees must provide paid leave; those with five or fewer employees may provide unpaid leave.
Oregon employees are entitled to one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. Alternatively, employers can choose to make 40 hours of sick leave available at the start of the year.
Employees must be allowed to carry over up to 40 hours of sick leave to the next year. However, employers may limit an employee to using no more than 40 hours of sick leave each year. Employers may also cap an employee’s total sick leave balance at 80 hours.
Employees may use sick leave in increments as small as one hour, unless it would pose an undue hardship on the employer. Leave may be used for a variety of reasons, including:
The definition of “family member” is broad and includes the following:
If the reason for the leave is foreseeable—such as a family member’s scheduled surgery—the employee can be required to provide up to ten days’ notice. If the leave is not foreseeable—such as a sudden illness—the employee can be required to give notice as soon as it’s practical. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule sick time in a way that will not unduly disrupt the workplace.
Likewise, employers cannot institute notice and procedures that would interfere with the employee’s ability to use accrued sick leave. Employers may not request documentation of the need for leave (such as a doctor’s note) until the employee has been out for three consecutive days, unless the employer suspects the employee is abusing sick leave.