Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Portland Protected Sick Time Ordinance

Phone: 503-823-3008


Calculating Sick Time FAQs



Q:  How does an employer know how much time an employee spends working within the city limits?  (New on 12/24/13)

A:  An employer may make a reasonable estimate of an employee’s time spent working in the city for purposes of leave accrual and use.  Documentation of how the reasonable estimate was derived may include, but is not limited to, dispatch logs, delivery addresses and estimated travel times, or historical averages.


Q: What happens when an employer has employees who work in Portland and other cities? (New on 12/24/13)

A: The law only covers employees who work 240 hours or more in the City of Portland. For those employees, only their hours spent working in Portland must be counted toward their accrual of protected sick time. Additional hours spent working outside of Portland will not trigger sick leave accrual - but, of course, an employer can choose to include those non-Portland hours as the law is simply a minimum floor.


Q:  How does an employer calculate an hourly sick time accrual for a salaried employee who has not set schedule? 

A:  For employees who are paid an annual salary and are exempt from overtime laws as provided under the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or state wage and hour laws, the hourly base rate can be determined by dividing the annual salary by 52 to get the weekly salary and dividing the weekly salary by the number of hours of the employee’s normal work week. (Revised 12/24/13)


Q:  If an employee is paid commission only, is the rate of pay for protected sick time usage minimum wage? 

A:  Yes – the minimum wage should be considered the base wage for employees that work only on commission.


Q:  If an employee works for tips, how should an employer calculate the rate of pay when that employee uses protected sick time?  (New 12/24/13)

A:  Employees that earn tips should be paid at their regular base wage (not including tips) when they use protected sick time. 


Q:  How does an employer who does prevailing wage work and private work in the city limits calculate the sick leave pay that an eligible employee would receive, when different hourly rates are used for employees depending on the project?

A:  In this case, treat the employee much like a salaried employee where you establish a base rate of pay from which to extrapolate the cost of sick leave on an hourly basis. Develop a method for averaging out what an employee in that position earns over the course of a month or averaged over a yearly basis, to then determine how much to pay the employee when they are sick on a day that they are scheduled to work.  The important thing is to be able to justify to an enforcement agency how you came to your number and why you consider it a fair wage for use of sick time.