Washington Paid Sick Leave Law

Washington Initiative 1433 requires employers with one covered employee to provide paid sick leave to most employees beginning on January 1, 2018. All employees covered by the Washington Minimum Wage Law must accrue paid sick leave at a minimum rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked and there is currently no cap in place for the amount of paid sick leave awarded to an employee during the year. This includes part-time and seasonal workers. The only exemption is exempt employees. Employers are not required to offer paid sick leave to exempt employees.

Washington State

The sick leave is paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay and employees are entitled to use accrued paid sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after the start of employment. Unused paid sick leave of 40 hours or less must be carried over to the following year.

When can paid sick leave be used?

    • Illness, injury, or health condition: Mental or Physical: To seek a diagnosis or for preventive care.
    • To care for themselves or their family members.
    • When the employees’ workplace or their child’s school or place of care has been closed by a public official for any health-related reason.
    • For absences that qualify for leave under the state’s Domestic Violence Leave Act.

What do you need to do?

  • Review all current time off policies for compliance with the new law.
  • Notify all employees of their right to paid sick leave in writing or through electronic notice by March 1, 2018.
  • Develop your system for tracking paid sick leave.  The law requires that employers maintain record of the employees start date of employment and the carryover of sick leave hours from one year to the next.

sick leave

If you have any questions about the Washington Paid Sick Leave Law, please contact our office.

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