AGC Announces Technical Assistance to Ensure Members’ Compliance with Portland’s New Mandated Sick Leave Ordinance
January 1, 2014 the City of Portland’s Mandated Sick Leave Ordinance will go into effect. The ordinance will require any employer with one or more employees who work at least 240 hours a year within the geographic boundaries of the City of Portland to provide sick leave to covered employees. Covered employers with one to five employees are required to provide eligible employees with unpaid sick leave while covered employers with six or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave. Written policies, notices, and recordkeeping are required of all covered employers and any eligible employee can accrue up to a cap of 40 hours of sick leave per year and that time may carry over to the next year. The ordinance also provides for a private cause of action by employees for any retaliation, discrimination, or interference of an employee’s exercise of rights under the ordinance.
Despite objections by AGC and many other business organizations (see AGC’s letter to Commissioner Amanda Fritz), the Portland City Council approved the ordinance and it will go into effect as planned. In an effort to mitigate the effects on our members, AGC lobbied BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian to find a more reasonable approach to a seemingly unworkable ordinance. In a media advisory dated October 18, 2013, AGC thanked Commissioner Avakian for his proposal to soften the impact of the ordinance by providing a 180 day soft enforcement period from January 1, 2014–July 31, 2014 to allow businesses unintentionally violating the ordinance 30 days to remedy their error without penalty. BOLI also committed to deploying the agency’s Technical Assistance for Employers Unit to field calls and emails concerning compliance matters and to provide free trainings throughout December and January.
In addition to working with BOLI to soften the impact of the ordinance, AGC has also developed for our members a detailed, construction-specific technical assistance package containing four things that our members can utilize to ensure full compliance:
- An overview of Portland’s Mandated Sick Leave Ordinance
- Examples of written policies that employers can tailor to their own businesses
- How to track employees’ hours to meet the recordkeeping requirements of the ordinance
- Examples of forms that employers can use when employees call in, requesting medical verification, etc.
The contents of the technical assistance package will be covered in two construction-specific seminars hosted by AGC for its members only. The first seminar will be held on December 12, 2013 in the AGC Center Boardroom from 1:30-3:30pm and will be led by Employment Law Attorney Leora Coleman-Fire with Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. Both seminars will include a presentation of the technical assistance package followed by a question and answer session.
Free Sick Leave Assistance for AGC Members*
AGC Center, Wilsonville
*You must be an AGC member to attend the training.
Questions? Contact AGC’s Public Policy Analyst Sarah Coghill, 503-685-8307.