Eugene, Oregon Becomes Nation's Ninth City to Adopt Paid Sick Days

Community members, small business owners, and Council members celebrate Monday's paid sick days victory at Falling Sky Brewing in Eugene, Oregon. Community members, small business owners, and Council members celebrate Monday's paid sick days victory at Falling Sky Brewing in Eugene, Oregon.

On July 28, 2014 the Mayor and City Councilors of Eugene, Oregon voted 5 to 3 to implement a paid sick days policy that will enable people who work in the city to earn sick time while they work, making Eugene the second city in Oregon, and the 9th U.S. city, to adopt such a policy.

Small business owners with the Main Street Alliance of Oregon cheered the ordinance passage as an important step to create more economy-boosting jobs.

“Eugene’s paid sick days policy will benefit everyone. It will boost the local economy and help small businesses succeed,” said Catherine Reinhart, co-owner of Sweet Life Patisserie. “It’s simple economics: we sell more sweets when working families have more money in their pockets to take their kids out for a treat. Now, Eugeneans won’t have to choose between taking care of their families and missing a day of work.”

“This is a big forward step for Eugene’s economy that will help employees better manage their work and personal responsibilities simultaneously,” said Rob Cohen, co-owner of Falling Sky Brewery. “Our employees are the heart of our business. We’re proud to provide them with paid sick leave, so they can pay their bills even when they get sick. Now all employees will have that protection too!”

“When you do your best by your employees, they stick around and give you their best, so it really works for everyone,” noted Gavin McComas, owner of Sundance Natural Foods. “It feels great to be part of a solution that will directly benefit so many people and that positions Eugene as a leader in our country when it comes to a triple-bottom line economy. It’s a great day for the city of Eugene, and for Eugene business owners and their employees!”

The Main Street Alliance of Oregon business owners applaud the Eugene City Council for taking action on this important issue. Despite the backdoor political dealings of the Lane County Commission — whom last week attempted to stall or block the City Council from taking action by passing three rushed ordinances — the Council and Mayor supported the 25,000 workers in the city who need this basic protection.

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