Wheeler gives city employees 1 week of bereavement leave

Civic Affairs

All city employees were given 40 hours of bereavement leave for "space to grieve and reflect"

Mayor Ted Wheeler at a press conference, June 8, 2020 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Monday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced that all city employees will be given a week of bereavement leave after the city experienced more than a week of ongoing protests against police brutality and racism.

“As a nation and as a City we continue to grieve the recent loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and others in the country and in our community. We acknowledge that Black employees are experiencing a collective grief and trauma coming from a culmination of oppression that is over 400 years old,” said Wheeler in a city-wide email to employees.

“I am directing managers and supervisors to approve the leave without question.”

Wheeler said he hoped that other employers in the community will take similar action and give their staff time to grieve and reflect.

“We’re witnessing a dramatic shift in our nation, one that is urgently charting the path forward for restorative justice, inclusion and understanding. I feel tremendous responsibility, as well as tremendous privilege, to be a part of this historic movement. Thank you for walking that path with me as we continue to serve the City of Portland.”

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