Seattle Employers: Get Ready for Paid Sick and Safe Leave


On September 12, the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance mandating paid leave for employees who perform work in Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn signed the ordinance into law on September  23.    According  to  press  reports,  “This  bill  is  about  ensuring  healthier workplaces  by preventing  the  spread  of  disease.”    However,  the  ordinance  casts  a wide net,  mandating  paid  sick leave  when  an  employee’s  family  member is sick, as well as paid leave when an employee or his or  her  family  member  needs  “safe  time”  because  of domestic  violence,  sexual  assault  or  stalking. And  it  broadly  defines  “family  member”  to include  spouses,  domestic  partners,  children,  parents, parents-in-law and grandparents.

According to the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the ordinance  is  “a  complex, bureaucratic  and  prescriptive  mandate”  for  employers.    

Take this simple test to see if your company’s current practices will comply with the ordinance...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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