Effective Jan. 1, 2018, paid sick leave is required for all eligible, non-exempt employees in the state of Washington in order to allow employees to care for their health and safety and the health and safety of their family members. As your local employment and HR expert, Express Employment Professionals wants to ensure you’re informed about some of the law’s key provisions.
AUTHORIZED USES OF PAID SICK LEAVE
In accordance with the law, paid sick leave may be used for the following:
- An employee’s mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
- Preventive care, such as a medical, dental, or optical appointment and/or treatment
- Care of a family member with an illness, injury, health condition, and/or preventive care such as a medical, dental, or optical appointment
- Closure of the employee’s place of business or child’s school or place of care by order of a public official for any health-related reasons
- If an employee or employee’s family member or household member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
ACCRUAL RATE OF PAID SICK LEAVE
Paid sick leave begins to accrue at the start of employment. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Employees do not accrue paid sick leave for any hours other than hours worked (e.g. vacation).
ELIGIBILITY TO USE ACCRUED PAID SICK LEAVE
Employees may use earned paid sick leave as soon as it is accrued. However, new employees hired after the effective date of this policy must wait 90 calendar days after the start of employment before using accrued earned paid sick leave.
PAID SICK LEAVE ACCRUAL YEAR
The accrual year is the calendar year January 1 to December 31. There is no accrual cap on the number of paid sick leave hours that an employee may earn each year. However, employees may only carry over up to 40 hours of paid sick leave remaining at the end of the calendar year. If an employee has less than 40 hours of accrued unused paid sick leave, the entire sick leave balance will carry over to the following year.
RATE OF PAY
Paid sick leave is compensated at the employee’s normal hourly compensation and with the same benefits as the employee normally earns during hours worked.
SEATTLE AND OLYMPIA’S PAID SICK LEAVE LAWS
The new statewide law will not supersede the paid sick/safe time laws in Seattle or Olympia. Employees who work in those cities will be covered by the statewide law and also may become eligible for additional rights specific to the city ordinances.
For more information about the new paid sick leave laws, contact your Express Employment Professionals representative today.