New sick leave rules go into effect Jan. 1 | Labor and Industries

Voters approved the change as part of Initiative 1433, which passed in November 2016.

  • Tuesday, January 2, 2018 10:00am
  • News

Many more workers around Washington will have paid sick leave soon, due to the state’s new mandatory paid sick leave law that took effect Jan. 1. Voters approved the change as part of Initiative 1433, which passed in November 2016.

The initiative also included annual increases to the state minimum wage through 2020. In 2017, the minimum wage climbed to $11 an hour; that changed to $11.50 with the beginning of the new year.

Under the new paid sick leave law, employees will earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. The law also requires employers to carry over up to 40 hours of an employee’s unused sick leave from one year to the next.

“Paid sick leave is important for all of us. No one wants employees to come into work sick. It’s bad for them, their coworkers, and customers,” said Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) Director Joel Sacks. “The new law allows employees to take care of themselves, or their family members, when they’re sick. It makes our state a better place to work.”

L&I recently adopted final rules with specifics on how the law will be enforced. The rules explain how L&I will respond to employers who violate the paid sick leave law, fail to pay employees the tips and service charges that they’re owed, or retaliate against an employee. Employees can file a complaint with L&I if they believe their employer is not complying with the new law. Businesses can face fines and have to provide back pay.

To help employers get ready, L&I has launched an online Employer Resource Center that covers key topics like how to implement a paid sick leave policy and how to notify employees of their paid sick leave rights.

Businesses can also sign up for a webinar, scheduled through February 2018, to learn more about the new requirements. Some webinars already held were full to capacity because of the high amount of interest in learning more about implementing the new law.

Along with webinars and other in-person outreach, L&I has a paid campaign with TV, online, radio and social media ads to make sure employers know that the new law is coming and what it entails.

L&I also mailed a new required workplace poster – updated with paid sick leave information – to all employer worksites in Washington.

Washington is the seventh state to have a paid sick leave law. Others include California, Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Arizona, as well as the District of Columbia.

Find more information online at www.Lni.wa.gov/SickLeave.

More in News

Empty Bowls again raising money to feed the hungry

The annual event is this Friday, Feb. 28, at Enumclaw High.

After hate group comes to town, Black Diamond talks inclusion

The city council decided to workshop a resolution, proclamation, or mission statement later in March.

Needles littered the ground throughout a homeless encampment at Federal Way’s Hylebos Wetlands, which is public property. Sound Publishing file photo
Republican leadership doubts effectiveness of homelessness spending

Democrats propose hundreds of millions toward affordable housing.

Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht gave a response to an Office of Law Enforcement Oversight report on Feb. 25 before the King County Law and Justice Committee. The report recommended ways her department could reform use of force policy and internal investigations. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Council unsatisfied with Sheriff’s response to use of deadly force report

The King County Sheriff’s Office could be required to explain why it didn’t implement recommendations.

King County approves low-income Metro fare waivers

Low-income transit riders could see their King County Metro fares waived beginning… Continue reading

King County Council has nine members who each represent a district. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
Charter amendments could allow King County Council to remove elected officials

The change was recommended by the charter review commission.

Voters could vote to affirm subpoena powers for civilian KCSO oversight agency

The King County charter review commission recommended enshrining the power in the charter.

What happens if the novel coronavirus spreads here? | Public Health Insider

Even though a severe outbreak may not happen, it’s smart to start preparing now.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democratic lawmakers roll out spending plans for climate change, homelessness

Republican opposition calls for tax relief, rather than spending the increased revenue.

Most Read