About 65 people attended the forum I hosted on Earned Sick Leave on Wednesday evening. Employers and employees of both large and small businesses, all-local through multinational corporations, participated and gave constructive feedback on the proposal, posted here. I greatly appreciate all the input, and the constructive, courteous approach of all attendees. Please email your comments and any suggested amendments to all members of the Council (thus comments are not open on this blog post).
I will file the Ordinance and Code proposal on Thursday 1/24, for posting on Friday prior to the hearing next Thursday, January 31st, in City Hall starting at 2 p.m. There may be changes in the filed documents, compared with the previously posted versions, based on feedback received.
After the hearing next week, Commissioner Saltzman and I will co-chair a Task Force to identify and discuss potential amendments to the proposed Code. I anticipate 11 - 13 people, invited by Council members to represent the broad range of stakeholder communities, meeting weekly for three weeks. A report from the Task Force will be posted. Council members may choose to propose amendments identified in the report, or suggested by others submitted via open public input. A second hearing will be held at the end of February to consider amendment requests, with a Council vote anticipated the first week of March. The new standards would be implemented January 2014.
I hope the Legislature will pass a statewide Earned Sick Leave standard. I am open to revisiting Portland's ordinance if that happens. I will also lead the work to identify benchmarks and gather data before, during, and after implementation, likely with a monitoring committee comprised of Portland employers and employees. If the Code is implemented in January 2014 as currently proposed, I will bring a follow-up report Council mid-2015. I believe sick leave standards are necessary and reasonable, and I appreciate the constructive engagement of Portlanders on all sides to identify the details for the Code the Council will vote on at the end of February or beginning of March.