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November 16, 2011
September 2012 Seattle Sick and Safe Leave Requirements
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Attention Seattle Employers: Beginning September 1, 2012, all Seattle employers with four or more employees must allow its employees to accrue and use paid sick and safe leave.  A covered employee includes all full time, temporary, or part-time employees who perform more than 240 hours of work in Seattle within a calendar year. 

If, during the last calendar year, you employed more than four full-time employees, the City of Seattle will require you to provide one hour of paid sick or safe leave to each employee for every 30 or 40 hours worked, depending on how many employees you have employed.

Depending on how many employees you employ, the City will require you to allow an employee to use between 40 and 72 hours of paid leave time each a calendar year.  An employee may use paid sick time upon request for a variety of health-related reasons for both themselves and family members.  An employee may use paid safe time when the employer’s business or the employee’s child’s school have been closed by a public health official, or for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  If your employees do not use all the leave they accrue each year, you will have to let your employees carryover between 40 hours to 72 hours of unused time to the next calendar year depending on how many employees you have employed.

The City will forbid an employer from interfering with, restraining, or denying an employee the use of his or her paid leave time.  An employer also may not take adverse action or discriminate against an employee who has used his or her paid leave time.  The City will also forbid employers from counting paid sick or safe time as an absence under any absence control time.  Finally, the City will require that you put up a Seattle Office for Civil Rights poster notifying your employees that they are entitled to paid sick and safe time and other terms of the ordinance.

The full text of the ordinance can be found at http://clerk.seattle.gov/~archives/Ordinances/Ord_123698.pdf.

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This advisory is a publication of Eisenhower Carlson PLLC. Our purpose in publishing this advisory is to inform our clients and friends of recent legal developments. It is not intended, nor should it be used, as a substitute for specific legal advice as legal counsel may only be given in response to inquiries regarding particular situations.

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