Sick leave makes sense for Oregon employers (June 14, 2015)

By Statesman Journal Editorial Board

In most cases, government should not tell employers how to operate. This is an exception.

The Legislature last week passed and sent to Gov. Kate Brown a good bill that would provide sick leave for most employees in Oregon.

Government generally should stay out of business instead of telling employers how to operate. However, sick leave is a common-sense provision for business, one that will benefit workers, their colleagues and their employers.

This is good for employers? Yes. Sick employees are less-productive employees. Both their germs and their decreased productivity can be contagious.

In contrast, sick leave is a benefit that can contribute to improved morale and commitment to the job.

Senate Bill 454 would require employers with 10 or more workers to offer up to 40 hours of paid sick leave a year. For employers with fewer workers, the sick leave could be unpaid.

The leave could be used for one’s own illness or to care for a family member. Some of the most compelling testimony came from parents, who sent sick children to school because there was no one to stay home with them.

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