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Washington Department of Labor & Industries Publishes Final Rules for Paid Sick and Safe Leave

    The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has published the final rules explaining Washington’s new paid sick and safe leave law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018. Based on these final administrative rules, the basic requirements of Washington’s sick and safe leave are as follows:

    Application: The law applies to any employer who employs at least one person in Washington. These employers must provide paid sick and safe leave to all employees who perform work in Washington and who are non-exempt under Washington’s minimum wage rules. This includes part-time and seasonal workers.

    Leave Accrual: Employees accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, beginning on their first day of employment. 

    Leave Usage: Employees are eligible to use their accrued paid leave after 90 days of employment. Accrued paid leave may be used, in increments equal to the employer’s smallest payroll increment, for the following covered reasons:

    • an employee’s own health condition;
    • to care for a family member (child, parent, spouse or registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling) with a health condition;
    • for absences currently covered by the Domestic Violence Leave Act; or
    • when an employee’s workplace or child’s school has been closed by a public health official.

    PTO Policies:  A universal PTO policy may comply with the new law, provided the PTO policy provides at least as generous accrual and carryover provisions and allows usage of PTO for all the law’s covered reasons.