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Study: Sick Leave Ordinance Impacts

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EUGENE, Ore.– Eugene City Councilors will vote on the controversial Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Monday.

The issue has divided the community because of differing opinions about how it will change businesses in Eugene. Some employers fear the ordinance will cost them more money because workers will take advantage of the system. Others speculate it will drive businesses away because they don’t want to follow the ordinance. But two studies ever conducted on the issue, found the ordinance had minimal negative impact on employers and businesses.

Researchers examined the aftermath effects of San Francisco’s sick leave mandate. The city was the first to implement the law in 2007, which required 1 hour paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked- similar to Eugene’s proposed ordinance.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research found a typical worker only used three out of their five paid work days. Also, six out of seven employers said the ordinance did not affect profitability negatively.

The Drum Institute found that job growth outpaced employment in three neighboring cities that did not have the ordinance. Researchers also found business growth increased more in San Francisco than its neighboring counties.

Although both studies show minimal negative impact, it is important to note that the studies looked at just one city and were conducted three to four years after passage of the ordinance. If Eugene city councilors pass the ordinance, it could go into effect next July.

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