Seattle, WA Revises Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

September 17, 2018

Effective July 1, 2018, the Seattle, Washington, OLSE published revised rules regarding the city’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance.

On June 4th, 2018, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards Enforcement published revised rules regarding the city’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. The new rules become effective on July 1, 2018. Please see additional information below regarding these changes to the legislation.

Safe Time: The city of Seattle has added Safe Time into its Sick Leave Ordinance. Safe Time provides Seattle employees with paid leave for absences pertaining to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and closure of the employees’ workplace or child’s school/place of care for a critical safety issue. Employees may use Safe Time for themselves, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, sibling, or grandchild.

Accrual and Carryover: Seattle divided employers into three tiers based upon employer size. The Large Employer tier (Tier 3) has a different accrual rate than the Small Employer (Tier 1) and Medium Employer (Tier 2). Additionally, all three tiers have different carryover amounts. Please review the chart below.

Cash Out: Cash-out is permitted at the end-of-year and at separation of employment. End-of-year cash-outs can only include Paid Sick and Safe Time balances in excess of carry-over requirements; full cash-out is permitted at separation of employment.

Notification: Employers must provide notification of PSST hours every time that wages are paid, including: PSST available, PSST accrued since last notice, PSST reduced (used, donated) since last notice.

Collective Bargaining Agreements: Time-limited CBA waivers are permitted only for PSST requirements that are more generous than state paid sick leave (e.g. tier 2 & 3 carry over, tier 3 accrual). Waivers are permitted through Dec. 31, 2018 or through expiration of CBA in effect as of that date. Labor organizations must file waiver information with OLS.

Recordkeeping Requirements: Three-year requirement for employers to retain records of: employee hours worked in Seattle; accrued paid sick and paid safe time; PSST available for use; PSST donated; PSST not carried over to the following year.

Please click here for further review of the new rules.

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This information is provided as a courtesy, may change, and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.