Thanks to the Portland City Council’s unanimous vote today to approve an ordinance that will let workers in Portland earn paid sick days, 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.
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. This victory in Portland adds to national momentum for paid sick days policies. Soon it will add to the growing body of evidence showing their widespread benefits and the need for a national paid sick days standard like the Healthy Families Act, which we expect will be introduced in Congress next week.
We applaud the broad and diverse group of organizations that make up the Everybody Benefits Coalition, and most especially Family Forward Oregon, all of the workers, businesses and advocates who came together to make this victory possible, and Commissioner Amanda Fritz who championed the bill. 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.”