Oregon Paid Sick Leave Law

All Oregon employers must provide sick days to their employees.

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.

Who Is Eligible for Sick Leave?

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.

Is Sick Leave Paid?

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.

How Does Sick Leave Accrue?

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.

For What Purposes May Sick Leave Be Used?

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 employee’s own physical or mental illness or health condition (including preventative care, treatment, and recovery)
  • to help a family member with a physical or mental illness or health condition (including preventative care, treatment, and recovery)
  • to bond with a child arriving by birth, adoption, or foster placement
  • for bereavement when a family member passes away
  • to deal with the effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking,
  • to recover from a mental or physical illness or health condition, or
  • in the event of a public health emergency (including a workplace closure, or the closure of a child’s school or daycare, by a public health official).

The definition of “family member” is broad and includes the following:

  • a spouse or same-sex domestic partner
  • a parent (including an adoptive parent, stepparent, or foster parent), whether custodial or not
  • a child (including an adoptive child, foster child, or stepchild)
  • a grandparent
  • a grandchild
  • a parent-in-law or the parent of a same-sex domestic partner, and
  • someone with whom the employee has an in loco parentis relationship (a parent/child relationship that isn’t necessarily by blood or law—such as an aunt who raises a nephew).

How Much Notice Must an Employee Give?

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.

Is Sick Leave Paid Out Upon Termination?

Employers are not required to pay accrued but unused sick leave when an employee leaves the company.

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