County looks to block sick leave ordinance for its Eugene employees

County looks to block sick leave ordinance for its Eugene employees

EUGENE, Ore. -- As the City of Eugene is moving forward with a paid sick-leave ordinance, officials with Lane County are looking to pass a bill that exempts its workers from the change. 

Lane County spokesperson Anne Marie Levis said that if the city’s paid sick-leave ordinance passes, it would also change policies for Lane County employees working in Eugene.

In the city's current draft, the ordinance says earning and taking sick leave will "maintain a healthy workforce and promote a vibrant, productive and resilient city."

County commissioners will consider passing an ordinance that would exempt all county government employees and all future county contractors from the controversial sick leave ordinance proposed by Eugene.

Levis said the change would cost the city a minimum of $140,000 per year for just part time employees. Adding on the cost of the county, she says, would mean serious cuts in services.

Lane County resident Keith Borst said the county should be careful if it chooses to block Eugene's ordinance.

“Look at it from both the pros and cons, from both employees and businesses - and then come up with the best solution for everyone, not just pro-business,” said Borst.

Levis explains the county already provides great vacation and sick-leave packages for its employees that go above the goals Eugene is seeking.

She said county commissioners will discuss their ordinance Tuesday night in Harris Hall.