Paid Sick Leave

Initiative 1433 contains 3 primary changes to state law: Requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to most employees beginning January 1, 2018, increasing the minimum wage over the next several years, and ensuring tips and service charges are given to the appropriate staff.

Paid Sick Leave Requirements

Starting January 1, 2018, employers in Washington will be required to provide their employees with paid sick leave.


  • Most employees shall accrue paid sick leave at a minimum rate of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked as an employee.
  • Paid sick leave shall be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation.
  • Employees are entitled to use accrued paid sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after the start of their employment.
  • Unused paid sick leave of 40 hours or less must be carried over to the following year.
  • Employers are allowed to provide employees with more generous carry over and accrual policies.


Employees may use paid sick leave:

  • To care for themselves or their family members.
  • When the employees’ workplace or their child's school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason.
  • For absences that qualify for leave under the state's Domestic Violence Leave Act.

Employers may allow employees to use paid sick leave for additional purposes.

Rulemaking for paid sick leave

In 2017, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) will develop two sets of rules to explain and enforce the new requirements. These rules will include procedures for employers to notify their employee(s), recordkeeping and reporting requirements regarding paid sick leave, and protecting employees from retaliation for the lawful use of paid sick leave. This process includes opportunities for public comment, including these scheduled public hearings on the first set of rules:

Notice: Pre-Hearing Overview of Rules at 9 a.m.

August 8
10 a.m.

L&I – Tumwater Auditorium
            7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater WA 98501

August 16
10 a.m.

Spokane Center Place Auditorium
2426 N Discovery Pl
Spokane Valley WA 99216


August 17
10 a.m.

Columbia Basin Community College
L102 Building L
2600 North 20th Ave
Pasco WA 99301

August 29
10 a.m.

Xfinity Center
Edward D Hansen Conference Center
Ballroom 3 South
2000 Hewitt Avenue Suite 200
Everett WA 98201


For more information

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