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October 19, 2012
Seattle employers bound by new sick time rules

New paid sick and safe time (PSST) rules are in effect in Seattle. Since September 1, employers have been required to provide a minimum level of paid time to their employees who work within city limits.

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The rules apply to all employers with more than four full-time equivalent employees and affect all workers, including full-time, part-time and, temporary. The hourly accrual rate depends on the number of people working in the business.

Employees can use accrued time as paid time:

  • To deal with their own illness, injury, or health condition;
  • To take care of a family member (including domestic partner) with an illness, injury, or medical appointment;
  • When their workplace has been closed for health reasons; and/or
  • For reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Employers with existing leave policies may already be in compliance with the rules, as long as they permit accrual, use, and carryover of paid leave for the same purposes as the new rules.

Employers with policies that are not in compliance are now required to provide additional benefits. In some businesses that are not in compliance, union employees may agree to waive their rights to paid time off.

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