Seattle City Council Mandates Paid Sick Leave For Workers

 September 13, 2011 ( – The Seattle City Council approved legislation yesterday requiring businesses to offer their workers paid sick leave, Seattle PI reports. 


 According to the article, the measure, which takes effect September 2012, specifies the amount of sick time offered to employees would vary by the size of the business. The legislation mandates:

  Employers with between one and four employees would not be required to offer sick leave. 

  Students in work-study jobs would also not be eligible. 

  Businesses with up to 49 workers would have to offer up to one hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked. 

  The biggest companies—250 or more employees—would also need to give paid time off equivalent, one hour for every 30 hours worked. 

  The biggest businesses that already give PTO that combines sick time and vacation time into a "single pot" wouldn't have to offer 1.5 hours of paid time off for every 30 hours worked. 

  Shift swapping would be allowed, and employees would have to work a minimum number of days to qualify. 

  There's also now a requirement for an independent evaluation to assess what the impact of the new law on employers is, which will be overseen by the City Auditor. 

  New businesses (those less than two years old) would be exempt. 

  The right to sick leave could be negotiated away, with consent of unions.

Seattle PI
 reports that the Economic Opportunity Institute estimates nearly 200,000 workers in Seattle now get no paid sick days.