On 6/22/2015, Oregon passed SB 454, a mandatory sick leave law effective 1/1/2016, requiring employers who have 10+ employees in the state (or 6+ for employers in Portland) to provide their employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with less than 10 employees in Oregon (or less than 6 employees for employers in Portland) will be required to provide employees with up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave. The new law applies to full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees.



Sick leave will accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, or employers may choose to frontload employees with 40 hours of sick leave at the start of the year. Employees will start accruing sick leave on 1/1/2016 or on their first day of employment, whichever is later. However, new employees will not be eligible to use accrued sick leave until after 90 calendar days of employment, unless the employer permits earlier use. A maximum of 40 hours of unused sick leave may be carried over to the following calendar year; however, if employers choose to frontload 40 hours of sick leave at the beginning of the year, then they are not required to allow carryover of unused sick leave.


Permitted Uses

Employees may use sick leave for the following purposes:

  • For an employee’s own illness, injury, or health condition;
  • To care for a family member with an illness, injury, or health condition;
  • For any purpose allowed under the Oregon Family Leave Act, such as bereavement leave, caring for a newborn child or newly adopted/foster child, or sick child leave;
  • For any purpose allowed under Oregon’s domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking law;
  • To donate accrued sick time to another employee, who may use it for any qualifying purpose (if the employer chooses to implement a policy allowing employees to donate sick time to coworkers); and
  • In the event of a public health emergency.


Employee Notification

At least once per quarter, employers must provide notice to each employee regarding the amount of accrued and unused sick leave available. This information may be stated on the employee’s pay stub. Employers must also provide written notice to employees regarding the new sick leave law. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries will soon be releasing a model notice for employers to use.


Action Items

Employers should review their current paid sick leave policies to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements of the new law.


The information and materials on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice. Information provided in this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments and may vary by jurisdiction. The content on this blog is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any particular facts or circumstances. The use of this blog does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship, nor should any such relationship be implied, and the contents do not constitute legal or tax advice. If you require legal or tax advice, please consult with a licensed attorney or tax professional in your jurisdiction. The contributing authors expressly disclaim all liability to any persons or entities with respect to any action or inaction based on the contents of this blog.

Bonnie Mangels – Bonnie is the Corporate Counsel and Senior Compliance Manager for Sequoia. When not inundated in paperwork and legal briefs, her interests include arts and crafts, bunnies, and the Bay Area.