Oregon earns plaudit from US Labor Secretary

Thomas Perez says he’s proud of the steps Oregon has taken in mandating paid sick leave for most workers.

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US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said he’s proud of the steps Oregon has taken in mandating paid sick leave for most workers at an event in Portland.

He specifically gave a “shout-out” to Laughing Planet Cafe for “creating a culture of inclusion” on the last stop of a nationwide tour.

The “Shared Prosperity for a Stronger America” tour, similar to a “Lead on Leave” road show that Perez and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett did earlier this year, was intended to highlight the administration’s policy goals in support of raising the federal minimum wage, expanding paid leave, and increasing employment training opportunities and apprenticeship programs.

The Portland discussion focused on paid leave, with more than a dozen labor representatives, small business owners and workers gathered at the White Stag Building in Northwest Portland.

“Only in the United States, regrettably, has paid leave become a partisan issue,” Perez said. In Australia, he said, the center-right ruling government was elected on a platform to expand paid leave, paid for by a tax on the country’s 25 largest companies.

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

Gov. Kate Brown attended the event and touted the sick-leave law she signed this session, but said work remains to ensure fair treatment of all workers.

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