State Representative Jim Weidner offers alternative to Paid Sick Leave Mandate
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation
Rep. Jim Weidner is offering an alternative to the Paid Sick Leave Mandate (Senate Bill 454). Weidner’s plan would work like an HSA fund. Workers, not employers, would pay into the fund, and they could use it to cover sick days as needed. “Since the funds would belong solely to the employees, they would be more likely to use the monies wisely,” said Weidner’s Chief of Staff, Jameson Gideon.
SB 454 requires all Oregon employers with at least six workers to provide five days of paid sick leave. Workers would earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours of work. They could use up to 5 paid sick days a year; unused days would carry over to the next year; max total of sick days accrued would be 10. Workers could use sick days to care for family members or themselves. The Oregon Chamber of Commerce states, “The small business community, particularly in rural Oregon, cannot sustain the cost of a paid sick leave mandate without further compromising our rural job base.”
Weidner’s plan would take the financial burden off the employer and would allow employees the opportunity to provide for their own paid sick leave. Supporters of the current plan are resistant to such changes and still claim that requiring a business to pay 7-days of sick leave would cost small businesses basically nothing because of the savings of making sure ill employees remain at home.
SB 454 here. Weidner’s amendments not added.