Lane Co. sees Eugene's sick leave law as 'a much larger issue'

Lane Co. sees Eugene's sick leave law as 'a much larger issue' »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane County Commissioners and city councilors are at odds over a proposed law that would make it mandatory for Eugene’s employees to accrue sick leave.

The proposed Eugene ordinance would apply to any company that has employees who work within the Eugene city limits for more than 240 hours a year.

Most on the Lane County Board of Commissioners object to the plan, proposing a trio of bills that would exempt some workers from the mandatory sick leave law. The board meets on the three bills Monday morning.

One would exempt all Lane County government workers from the Eugene law.  The second would exempt Lane County businesses from the law if they’re located outside the City of Eugene. The third would ban any city in the county from passing local laws regulating working conditions. 

“I'm really looking at it as a much larger issue than just sick leave itself, because once you start passing ordinances that - in a sense - interfere with other communities and their businesses, I have a strong opinion that we can get involved,” said Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken.

Supporters say paid sick leave is needed for low-wage workers in retail, restaurants or other jobs, especially if sick leave isn’t already provided.

City councilors hold a public hearing on their proposed mandatory sick leave ordinance Monday night at Harris Hall.