Just moments ago, the Portland City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that will let tens of thousands of workers in Portland earn the paid sick days they need. As National Partnership President Debra Ness said:
A healthier, more economically secure Portland is on the horizon – and the nation is a critical step closer to having another city guarantee workers this basic right. This is a historic victory for Portland and the nationwide effort to ensure no worker has to choose between their health, their family and their job.
When Mayor Hales signs this bill, more than 120,000 workers in Portland will no longer have to worry that one case of the flu or a sick child will mean the loss of critical income or their families’ economic security. Workers and business owners will no longer have to fear contagion in workplaces and communities because people cannot afford to stay home when they are sick. And Portland residents, businesses and the local economy will all be better off as a result.
We urge Mayor Hales to make a paid sick days standard for Portland a top priority by signing it right away. It is the right thing to do for Portland, and it will pave the way for the future victories the nation urgently needs.”
This victory in Portland is a testament to the hard work of a broad and diverse group of organizations that make up the Everybody Benefits Coalition, including Family Forward Oregon, in addition to all of the workers, businesses and advocates who came together to make it possible.
Pending Mayor Hales’ approval of the bill, Portland will be the fourth city to guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick days. Laws are already in place and working well in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Connecticut. And there are dozens of efforts to advance similar proposals across the country, including in Philadelphia, New York City, Maryland and Vermont. Victories like this one add to the national momentum for paid sick days policies and strengthen the case for a national standard.
The federal Healthy Families Act, which would guarantee workers the right to earn up to seven paid sick days per year, is expected to be introduced in Congress next week. You can encourage your representative and senators to show their support for it here.