Oregon’s mandated statewide paid sick leave went into effect on January 1, 2016. The recently signed Senate Bill 299 amends the Paid Sick Time (“PST”) Law, providing clarification on the application of the law, plus new provisions. Important amendments include the following:
- New accrual limit. Employers may now limit an employee’s yearly accrual to 40 hours per year. Employees may carry over up to 40 hours each year for a maximum bank of eighty hours. The accrual rate of 1 hour per thirty hours worked remains the same.
- Revisions to covered employers and employee headcount.
- Employers must provide paid, rather than unpaid, sick leave if the employer:
- Has at least 10 employees working anywhere in Oregon;
- Employs an average of at least six employees per day in Oregon and maintains a location in a city in Oregon with a population exceeding 500,000 for each workday.
- Employers located in highly-populated areas (over 500,000) have greater PST obligations. Employers who maintain only a seasonal farm stand or trailer used temporarily on a construction site or for office purposes are excluded from the definition of “employer located on a city with a population exceeding 500,000.”
- When determining a covered employer’s PST obligations, certain individuals do not need to be included in the employee headcount. These are: directors of a corporation, members of an LLC, partners of an LLP, and sole proprietors who have a substantial interest in the operation (more than 15% and not less than the average of other owners), as well as children, spouses, and parents of these individuals.
- Calculating pay for piece-rate and commission employees. If an employee who is paid an hourly, weekly, or monthly wage, plus a piece-rate or commission, uses PST, the PST must be compensated at a rate equivalent to the employee’s hourly, weekly, or monthly wage, or the minimum wage, whichever is greater.
Although Senate Bill 299 went into effect on July 1, 2017, the amendments begin to apply to all hours worked and sick time accrued or used on or after January 1, 2018.