Washington Sick Leave laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Sick Leave: What you need to know

Effective January 1, 2018, Washington Initiative 1433 requires employers to provide paid sick leave (RCW 49.46.200 et seq.).
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Covered employers. The act applies to “every employer,” which is construed broadly and includes any individual, partnership, association, business trust, or any person or group of persons acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee.
Covered employees. The act adopts the state Minimum Wage Act’s definition of employee. This definition includes “any individual employed by an employer,” but also exempts several specific categories of workers, including those “employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity or in the capacity of outside salesperson.” (RCW 49.46.010)
Thus, workers who are exempt from the Minimum Wage Act’s definition of employee are also exempt from paid sick leave eligibility.
Accrual of leave. Employees are entitled to at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
Employers may also provide paid sick leave in advance of accrual provided the front-loading meets or exceeds the law’s accrual, use, and carryover requirements.
Paid sick time (PST) accrues beginning January 1, 2018, or the beginning of employment, whichever is later. New hires may be required to wait until 90 days after hire before using accrued leave.
Use of leave. Leave may be used:
• For absences resulting from an employee’s mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; to accommodate the employee’s need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an employee’s need for preventive medical care;
• To allow the employee to provide care for a ...

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