People who work in Portland will being earning sick time in January, 2014, thanks to an ordinance passed by the Portland City Council on March 13, 2013. And while that will directly assist about 260,000 Portland workers who don’t currently earn any paid sick time while they work, it doesn’t help the other 320,000 Oregonians who work outside of Portland who won’t be covered by this new Portland policy. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We have the same problem across Oregon that we had in Portland: Too few workers earn sick time, but we all get sick. 40% of all private-sector workers and 80% of low-income workers have no paid sick days from their job – not one. Everybody gets sick, but not everyone gets the time they need to recover or care for sick family members – and it affects all of us.
But there’s a solution: Require that all workers can earn sick time while working, wherever they work. The Portland City Council became the 4th city in the nation to require employers to let employees earn sick time while they work. Ensuring that all workers have the time it takes to care for yourself and family members when sick is practical, equitable, preventive – and urgent. Oregonians just can’t afford to wait.
When workers earn sick time, everybody benefits. Learn more about the problem and the solution at Everybody Benefits Oregon, the campaign to bring earned sick days to every corner or Oregon, not just our largest city.