PORTLAND -- The city council unanimously passed an ordinance Wednesday that would make it mandatory for Portland businesses to provide sick time.

Under the ordinance, businesses with 6 or more employees will have to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave, while smaller businesses must allow their workers to take up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time.

Employees in Portland will earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. The ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2014.

This is a public health issue, said Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz. Diligent employees should not have to choose between paying the rent and going to work with the flu, potentially infecting coworkers and customers.

Some business owners that would have to pay for the new benefit said it could negatively affect costs.

Similar statewide bills were being considered by the Oregon Legislature.

Portland will join Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in requiring employers to provide the benefit.

Click here for the full text of Commissioner Fritz's proposal

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