EUGENE, Ore. — A long debated and at times contentious ordinance, now approved.
Employers in Eugene are required to provide sick leave for their employees.
The Eugene City Council passed an ordinance Monday night making employers provide their workers with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
The council didn’t waste any time in passing this ordinance.
It was an item on their agenda for their 7:30 p.m. work session Monday night but the council ended up voting on the ordinance in their earlier 5:30 p.m. meeting.
At the later meeting a number of people applauded the council’s decision.
In fact, not one person during public comment spoke against the council’s vote.
The decision comes after months of talks on this issue and hearing from a divided community.
At a public hearing last week nearly 70 people signed up for public comment.
Workers have said they need the paid sick leave because they often end up choosing between paying their bills and going to work sick.
Business leaders have said this ordinance would go over their heads and business would suffer.
But Mayor Kitty Piercy says both sides have had a voice on the matter.
“We had a task force that had people who were for it and people who were against it and a lot of businesses. And they all got to bring up all their issues because that was the whole purpose of the task force, tell us all the things you’re concerned about,” said Piercy.
There were some amendments to the ordinance.
Businesses who are based outside of Eugene won’t fall under this ordinance.
But if they have employees who work inside the city limits for 240 hours a year, then they’d need to provide them with paid sick leave.
Lane County recently passed its own ordinance exempting county employees from the ordinance.
But Monday night the council also amended its version exempting governmental agencies including Lane County, potentially avoiding a legal battle.