Oregon Labor Law covers the Coronavirus


Oregon’s sick time law specifically covers absences during a public health emergency [Allows all employees to earn and use up to 40 hours of protected sick time each year.] 

  • It is an unlawful employment practice to discipline and/or terminate and employee for using protected sick time.  
  • Closure of the employee’s place of business, or the school or place of care of the employee’s child, by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
  • A determination by a lawful public health authority or a health care provider that the presence of the employee or the family member of the employee in the community would jeopardize the health of others.
  • The exclusion of the employee from the workplace under any government law or rule that requires the employer to exclude the employee from the workplace for health reasons.

Sick Leave is okay to use in these instances:

  • Childcare: If an employee needs to stay home with a child due to the Governor’s order to close schools, they are entitled to use their accrued and unused Oregon sick time even if the child or the employee is not sick. 
  • Self-Quarantine ordered: An employee is also entitled to use Oregon sick time to cover absences if a health care provider instructs an employee or the employee’s family member to self-quarantine, even if the employee or family member is not sick. 
  • These absences are NOT attendance violations. For employees taking time off due to the state-wide school closure or due to a health care provider’s instruction to self-quarantine, employers should allow employees to use accrued sick time, and may not count these absences as attendance violations. 

Coronavirus Information Links:

Oregon Health Authority – Public Health Division “Emerging Respiratory Infections: COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] – “Coronavirus Disease 2019 [COVID-19]”

State of Oregon – Executive Orders

Department of Labor: Coronavirus resources for Employers

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