Under Oregon’s state sick leave law, all private employers with at least one employee in Oregon must provide sick leave to their employees. Employers with 10 or more employees (or 6 or more employees if the employer has a location in Portland) must provide employees with at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked each year. For other employers in the state, the same amount of sick leave must be provided, but it may be unpaid sick leave.
- Have employees accrue sick leave at a minimum rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, or
- Grant up front at least 40 hours of sick leave, at the beginning of each 12-month period.
Employers are generally required to allow employees to carry over up to 40 hours of sick leave from one year into the next.
There are other requirements under the law, which you can read more on here. Some of these requirements are also detailed further below. Employers can also read up on general sick and safe leave best practices here.
Your sick leave policy and practices should be reviewed periodically by your legal counsel for the states and localities in which your employees are working to ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
Employee Eligibility & Use
All employees, with a few exceptions, who work in Oregon are entitled to sick leave.
Employees may use accrued sick leave for any of the following reasons:
- To care for the employee or the employee’s family member with: a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or need for preventive medical care
- To care for an infant or newly adopted child or newly placed foster child within 12 months after the birth or placement of that child.
- To recover from or seek treatment for a health condition that renders the employee unable to perform at least one essential function of their position
- Certain absences associated with the death of a family member
- Certain absences related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking
- Certain absences related to public health emergencies
You should review the law and resources at the bottom of this page to understand additional stipulations as to when sick time may be used.
Posting & Notices
Employers must provide written notice to their Oregon employees detailing employee rights to accrue and use sick leave. Notices may be provided individually to employees, in an employee handbook or manual, or by posting in a conspicuous and accessible location in each workplace of the employer. This notice is included in Justworks’ poster service for customers who opt in.
Employers must also show, at least once per quarter, the amount of accrued and unused sick time available for use by the employee. If you set up a sick leave policy in Justworks, we will automatically add this balance information to employee paystubs and it is available to your employees at any time when they log into the Justworks platform.
Limitations on Sick Leave
Employees in Oregon begin accruing sick leave on their first day of work, but employers can limit their ability to take their sick leave until the employee has been employed for 90 days.
An employer is not required to pay out accrued, unused paid sick time when an employee separates from employment with the employer. However, if you are providing paid sick time through your general PTO policy, you may be required to pay out all of an employee’s accrued, unused PTO upon separation from employment, dependent upon your policy.
Keep in mind that if a separated employee is rehired within a 180 days of separation, employers must reinstate their prior accrued sick leave balance.
Resources & Notes
- Help Center: Sick and Safe Leave
- Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries: Sick Time
- ThinkHR: Oregon Paid Sick Leave*
*Be sure you’re logged into your Justworks account with administrative permissions to access ThinkHR.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.