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Business and Economy

Judge Upholds Hazard Pay For Portland Workers, But Delays It Till 2022

A Superior Court judge has upheld Portland’s $18-per-hour minimum wage for workers during declared emergencies — but also ruled that it does not go into effect until next year.

Supporters of the pay hike approved by Portland voters in November say they’ll appeal to the State Supreme Judicial Court.

“We believe that what the voters clearly intended and what the ordinance says, is that the hazard pay goes into effect immediately to apply during the pandemic and provide much-needed hazard pay for essential workers,” says Shelby Leighton, one of the attorneys who defended the increase. “These workers who have been working so hard for almost a year now, we really want them to get the pay they deserve, and they won’t get that.”

The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and several local businesses had sued to invalidate the new minimum wage. The chamber didn’t immediately return a request for comment.