HR Alert

Washington Releases Final Paid Sick Leave Rules

Rules Address Notice, PTO Programs, and More

Washington has released final paid sick leave rules. Highlights of the rules are presented below.

Employer Notice
Employers must notify each employee of (among other things) his or her entitlement to paid sick leave and the rate at which the employee will accrue paid sick leave. Employers must provide such notification in written or electronic form, and it must be readily available to all employees.

For employees hired on or after January 1, 2018, employers must notify each employee of such rights by the commencement of employment. Existing employees (as of January 1, 2018) must be notified by March 1, 2018.

The state Department of Labor and Industries is expected to develop sample notification policies which comply with the rules, and make them available on the Department's website.

PTO Programs
Paid time off (PTO) provided to employees by an employer's PTO program (e.g., a program that combines vacation leave, sick leave, or other forms of leave into one pool) generally satisfies the requirement to provide paid sick leave, if the PTO program meets or exceeds applicable law and rules. Click here for more details.

Both the rules and the law (discussed below) are effective January 1, 2018. The rules also address (among other things) written policies, accrual, and usage, and update certain outdated language concerning people with disabilities. Click here to read the rules.

Beginning January 1, 2018, an employer generally must provide each of its employees paid sick leave at the greater of the increased minimum wage or the employee's normal wage. An employee will accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, and may use paid sick leave for certain purposes. Click here for more information.

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