I want to personally thank the thousands of citizens and hundreds of business owners that called, emailed and wrote my office the last several months regarding sick leave policy. Although we will not all agree on the final outcome, your input and advocacy helped shape the work of the Task Force of business and union representatives that I convened withCommissioner Fritz. Some changes that came out of the Task Force include the 90-day waiting period before employees can use sick leave, and the clarification that if employers have an existing, qualifying paid-time-off policy they will not have to provide additional sick leave.
I feel strongly that paid sick leave is the right step forPortland. It is an issue of public health. Also, Portlanders should not fear losing their job if they need to stay home with a sick child. They should not have to choose between getting out of a domestic violence situation or getting a paycheck. And more than anything I’ve voted for in my 15 years on Council, I think this policy makes great strides to close the gap between the most fortunate and the least fortunate among us.
I voted in favor of the policy as crafted, as did all of Council this morning. It will go into effect January 2014 and I encourage you to review the final provisions laid out in the ordinance. My colleagues and I worked hard to make a clear and fair policy, and we will continue to pressure the State to pass a similar policy to even the playing field inOregon. You can read the adopted City policy here.