Are you ready for the new Washington State Sick Leave law, starting on January 1, 2018?

For many employees in Washington State, they will begin receiving paid sick leave for the first time. Washington State’s sick leave law is unique in that there is no cap on the number of hours an employee can earn using the 1 hour earned for 40 hours worked accrual rate, so many employers that already offer paid sick leave (even those that offer it a faster accrual rate and/or based on hours compensated) may have to adopt new systems to account for additional sick leave accrual.

Also, when it comes to using sick leave, the law provides a very broad list of circumstances under which sick leave may be used, and regulates the time increments for use of sick leave. Until now, in many employment relationships, the use of sick leave has been significantly more restricted so this could be a big change. For employers that offer combined vacation and sick leave banks (paid time off), the law may still have an impact.

Finally, the law also contains provisions about annual carryover, and what happens to the sick leave bank at the termination of employment. Whether you are an employee or an employer, if you haven’t already looked at the provisions of the law, you might want to take a look now.

I just launched a new informational website to help everyone understand the impacts of the law, because it is going to be a big change. I hope this website is helpful as a starting point for understanding rights and obligations under the law. Here is the link to it: Understanding I-1433.