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Eugene City Council passes sick leave law

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The Eugene City Council has joined cities such as Seattle, Portland and San Francisco in approving a law requiring sick leave for workers.

The ordinance passed Monday with a 5-3 vote requires employers to provide workers with an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work, up to a maximum of 40 hours a year.

The law is set to take effect next July and apply to all Eugene businesses and nonprofit groups, the Register-Guard (http://is.gd/QaF1Bq ) reported. However, it could wind up in court.

Supporters say the ordinance protects low-wage workers who need to stay home to take care of themselves or their sick children.

Council member Alan Zelenka called the policy "family friendly and worker friendly" and said opponents exaggerated its potential negative impact on businesses.

Critics say it would add costs for businesses and hamper efforts to recruit and keep them in the city. Instead, the council should have just urged the state Legislature to pass a statewide requirement, opponents said.

"By doing this, we're putting our city at a large disadvantage," said council member George Poling.

Last week, Lane County commissioners passed three ordinances meant to limit or block the city law, setting up at least three courses of legal action.

Before the law goes into effect, the city could ask a judge for a validation judgment to determine whether the city can enforce it.

After it goes into effect, an employee or employer could challenge it, or a group of employers could seek an order from a judge to clarify which ordinances they should follow — city or county.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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