Seattle’s New PTO/Sick-Safe Leave Law Goes into Effect September 1
The City of Seattle passed a citywide ordinance last year requiring virtually all employers to adopt a paid time off/sick-safe leave policy for employees who work in Seattle-even if those employees do not work full time in the Emerald City. This new law goes into effect September 1, 2012.
These types of local ordinances can cause severe compliance hardship for very small businesses or for companies that have employees in multiple jurisdictions. The law exempts businesses with under 5 employees and other governmental jurisdictions. Smaller businesses have until next year or later to fully comply depending on their employee count.
You can find detailed information about the law and the finalized rules at the City’s website here: http://www.seattle.gov/civilrights/SickLeave.htm
Many forward thinking companies, including many in tech, are moving toward “unlimited” or “universal” paid time off policies that combine both vacation and sick leave. Some of these policies rely on the “honor system” where neither the employee nor the employer tracks days off. However, governmental entities do not operate this way and tend to impose their way of thinking on the private sector, which is often way ahead of government in developing employee benefits (but not always).
If you are concerned about complying with this new Seattle-only law or want a copy of the regulations, please contact WTIA at Lmcmurran@washingtontechnology.org.