Washington Paid Sick Leave

Starting on January 1, 2018, employers in Washington will be required to provide employees with paid sick leave.  Generally, the new law provides:

  • Employees are eligible to accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked;
  • Sick leave is paid at an employee’s regular hourly wage;
  • Employees can use sick leave after 90 days of employment and can carry over up to 40 hours of sick leave from year to year;
  • Paid sick leave can be used by employees:
    • To care for themselves or family members;
    • When an employee’s workplace or child’s school is closed for health reasons;
    • For an absence under the Domestic Violence Leave Act;

The benefits above are the minimum entitlement for employees. Employers can elect to provide for employees to accrue and/or carry over more sick time than required by the law.

L&I is currently drafting rules for the new paid sick leave law.  The rules are being developed in two phases:  (1) employer requirements and employee rights, and; (2) enforcement of the new law.  Public hearings on the draft proposed rules begin in November.

We will post again once the rules are released.

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