Two Hearings This Week on Washington's Sick Leave Rules

"We know paid sick leave is a big change for employers and workers," said Annette Taylor, deputy assistant director of L&I's Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards. "We're doing everything we can to make sure people know what the proposed rules are and have an opportunity to provide input before this significant change happens in January."

Washington state's Department of Labor & Industries is hosting a total of four public meetings -- two are this week, on Aug. 16 and 17 -- as it develops the rules for implementing the state's new mandatory paid sick leave law. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2018, after voters approved Initiative 1433 last fall. L&I says the state rules process is an opportunity for people to have input into the details of how the new law will be carried out.

"We know paid sick leave is a big change for employers and workers," said Annette Taylor, deputy assistant director of L&I's Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards. "We're doing everything we can to make sure people know what the proposed rules are and have an opportunity to provide input before this significant change happens in January."

The new rules will include procedures for using sick leave, employee notification, reporting requirements, and protecting employees from retaliation for the lawful use of paid sick leave. This is just the first rounds of hearings for the rules. The first meeting took place Aug. 8 and the others are:

  • Spokane Valley, Aug. 16, 10 a.m., Spokane CenterPlace Auditorium
  • Pasco, Aug. 17, 10 a.m., Columbia Basin Community College
  • Everett, Aug. 29, 10 a.m., Edward D. Hansen Conference Center

Initiative 1433 tasked L&I with implementing several changes, including mandatory paid sick leave, increasing the minimum wage annually over a four-year period, and ensuring tips and service charges are given to the appropriate staff. Washington will be the seventh state to require employers to provide paid sick leave -- the others are California, Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Arizona. Washington, D.C., also requires it.

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