- Requires employers to provide paid sick leave to most employees beginning Jan. 1, 2018.
- Increases the minimum wage over the next several years.
- Ensures tips and service charges are given to the appropriate staff.
- Protects employees from retaliation when exercising their rights under the Minimum Wage Requirements and Labor Standards Act.
Who the New Law Covers and Does Not Cover
The law does not apply to employees performing work in Washington who are excluded from the definition of “employee” in the Washington Minimum Wage Act, RCW 49.46.010(3), this includes true administrative employees, white-collar exempt employees, outside salespersons, and others. Thus, for most employers this law only applies to non-exempt employees and includes part-time, full-time, seasonal and temporary non-exempt employees.
New Paid Sick Leave Requirements
Starting Jan. 1, 2018, employers in Washington will be required to provide most of their employees with paid sick leave.
- Employers may impose a waiting period of 90 days before new employees can use accrued sick leave under the law.
- Most employees must accrue paid sick leave at a minimum rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. This includes part-time and seasonal workers.
- Paid sick leave must be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation.
- Employees are entitled to use accrued paid sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after the start of their employment.
- Unused paid sick leave of 40 hours or less must be carried over to the following year.
- Employers must provide regular notification to employees about the amount of paid sick leave available.
- Employers are allowed to provide employees with more generous carry over and accrual policies.
Employees in Washington may use paid sick leave:
- 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 Washington's Domestic Violence Leave Act.
- Employers may allow employees to use paid sick leave for additional purposes.
The new law protects employees from retaliation for exercising their rights under the Minimum Wage Requirements and Labor Standards Act. This includes filing a complaint for wages owed, lawfully using paid sick leave or exercising protected rights.
This new law applies to workers who are
Source: Washington State Dept. of L&I
Contact Mark D. Walters