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COVID-19 and Paid Sick Leave in Oregon

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2020 | Employment Law |

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many workers find themselves working from home, or not working at all due to work slow downs or the coronavirus shelter in place ordered by Governor Kate Brown on March 23, 2020.  If you or a family member* are suffering symptoms related to COVID-19, or any other serious health condition, you may be entitled to paid sick leave. Oregon paid sick leave laws require that:

  • Employers with 10 or more employees provide 40 hours of paid sick leave to full-time staff each year, to be paid at their regular rate of pay. Piecework and commission based employees is to be paid at the employee’s average earnings.
  • Employers with nine or fewer employees must allow their employees to take up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave.
  • Employees may request sick leave paid time off in increments as small as one hour.
  • Employees may rollover up to 40 hours of unused sick leave a year.
  • Employers may cap sick leave balances at 80 hours a year.
  • Rehired employees have a right to reinstate their prior sick leave balances.

Sick leave begins to accrue on day one of employment, but employees cannot use their accrued sick leave until after 90 days of employment.

If you work in the City of Lake Oswego, employers with six or more employees are entitled to paid sick leave.

“Sick time” can be used for a public health emergency that results in closure of the employee’s place of business, school, or place of care of the employee’s child, by order of a public official due to a public health emergency. Sick time can also be used for other purposes, including:

  • An employee’s 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.
  • For care of a family member* with a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition, care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or care of a family member who needs preventive medical care.
  • Any other purpose for which family leave may be taken.

*”Family member” means the spouse 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.

For additional information on Oregon’s sick time laws you may visit the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry’s website at:



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