Sick time for part-time workers: Eugene mulls requirement for businesses

      EUGENE, Ore. - Should the City of Eugene require employers to offer paid sick leave to part-time employees?

      Eugene City Councilors Claire Syrett and Alan Zelenka on Monday night asked the city to look at the concept.

      The result: phone calls from business owners to the Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, looking for specifics.

      Right now the law is just an proposed idea. There is nothing specific in the works.

      The city and the business community said they will be studying similar laws in Portland and Seattle.

      Supporters of the concept said it would encourage ill food service employees to stay home rather than risk infecting customers. The leave could also help part-time workers stay home and care for sick children.

      David Hauser with the Chamber of Commerce said business owners are already facing a slew of new government requirements with the federal Affordable Care Act and a statewide minimum wage increase.