Portland Paid Sick Time
Starting January 1, 2014, Portland City Code Chapter 9 requires all private employers with employees working in the city of Portland to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year, pursuant to certain eligibility requirements.
Eligible employees are those who work at least 240 hours in a year at Reed College and are not eligible for the college’s regular sick leave. These are Reed’s contract employees, temporary employees, on-call employees and student employees.
Reed faculty, staff (including language scholars) who have a work assignment greater than or equal to .5 FTE will not accrue sick time under this program because they already receive a benefit that is greater than the one required by the city ordinance.
For purposes of this leave, a year is defined as a fiscal year which runs from July 1 to June 30. Eligible employees begin accruing sick time from the outset of employment and may begin using sick time on their 91st calendar day of employment.
Sick time accrual
Eligible employees earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours of work performed within the city. Employees may accrue a maximum of 40 hours of sick time in a year.
Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the following year, but may only use 40 hours of sick time per year regardless of how many hours of unused sick time the employee carries over from the previous year or earns during the year.
An employee may use sick time for the following reasons:
- Diagnosis, care or treatment of the employee or employee’s family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition including preventative medical care such as prenatal visits and routine medical and dental visit;
- Employee’s place of business or the employee’s child’s school or day care is closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency;
- To care for a family member whose presence in the community jeopardizes the health of others as determined by a lawful public health authority or by a healthcare provider;
- If the employee is excluded from the workplace due to health reasons; or
- For certain reasons related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking.
A family member is defined as the spouse or domestic partner of an employee; the biological, adoptive, or foster parent or child of the employee; the grandparent or grandchild of the employee; a parent-in-law of the employee; or a person with whom the employee was or is in a relationship of in loco parentis.
Use of sick time
An eligible employee may use accrued sick time in increments of .25 hours to cover all or part of a shift. An employee must use available sick time for qualifying absences, however, employees may choose to trade shifts or make up the time within the same workweek instead of using sick time. When using sick time, employees are not required to find coverage for their shift or work an alternative shift in lieu of using accrued sick time.
When using sick time the employee will be paid at the same base rate of pay that the employee would have earned had they not been absent. Accrued sick time will not be paid out to the employee upon termination of employment. Any employee who is rehired within six months is entitled to use previously accrued sick time immediately upon reemployment.
Employee responsibilities for giving notice
For a foreseeable absence, the employee shall provide written notice at least 30 days prior to the first day of absence. If 30 days’ notice is not practicable, such as in the case of illness or medical emergency, notice must be given as soon as the employee knows he or she will be absent. Prior notice should always be given in advance of the start of the shift, rather than after the shift has begun.
Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule planned medical treatments so as to minimize disruption of the college operations, including consulting management prior to the scheduling of medical treatment in order to work out a treatment schedule which best suits the needs of both the college and the employee.
Reed may deny sick time to an employee if the employee fails to provide notice as stated in this policy or if the employee failed to make a reasonable effort to schedule leave in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the operations of the college.
If an employee uses sick time for more than three consecutive days the college may require reasonable documentation that the sick time is being used for a qualifying absence. Consecutive days means consecutive calendar days, not including scheduled days off.
Reasonable documentation includes the following:
- A signed statement by a health care provider indicating that sick time is necessary;
- A personal statement signed by the employee that he or she is using sick time for a qualifying absence;
- Documentation that the employee or employee’s minor child or dependent is the victim of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking which may consist of:
- Copy of a police report;
- Copy of a protective order; or
- Documentation from an attorney, law enforcement office, health care professional, licensed mental health care professional or counselor that the employee or employee’s minor child is undergoing treatment or counseling.
If Reed requires documentation for the use of sick time, the employer shall pay the cost of any verification by the health care provider that is not covered by insurance or other benefit plan.
Coordination with other leave
An employee’s use of sick time may run concurrently with other leave under state or federal law, including leave taken pursuant to the Oregon Family Leave Act or the Family Medical Leave Act. An employee may not use paid sick time while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Students who are on a medical leave of absence from the college may not use sick time. This is because employees are not permitted to use sick time if they are not scheduled to work on the shift for which leave is requested.
If a student employee is on leave from the college for any reason, unless the absence exceeds six months, the student employee will not lose any previously accrued sick time or his/her eligibility to use it.
Students who receive stipends for campus roles such as student government are not considered employees of the college and therefore are not eligible for sick time.
If a temporary or contract employee is reclassified to a regular budgeted position, the employee will retain all accrued sick time hours.
Discrimination or retaliation
No employee shall be discriminated against for requesting, using sick time or complaining that they are not receiving sick time as required by the city. Employees may file a complaint with the Bureau of Labor and Industries if they feel sick leave has been denied or if they believe they have suffered retaliation for requesting sick time. Employees are encouraged to bring concerns about the use of sick time or retaliation to human resources.
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