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


  • Most employees must accrue paid sick leave at a minimum rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. This includes part-time and seasonal workers.
  • Paid sick leave must be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation rate.
  • 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.


Employees must be paid sick leave:

  • To care for themselves or their family members
  • When the employee’s workplace or their child’s school or place of care has been closed by 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

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is developing rules to explain and enforce the new requirements. These rules will include:

  • Procedures for employers to notify their employees
  • Recordkeeping and reporting requirements regarding paid sick leave
  • Processes to protect employees from retaliation for the lawful use of paid sick leave

The rules are being developed in two phases:

  1. employer requirements and employee rights, and
  2. enforcement of the new law

Opportunities for public comment on employer requirements and employee rights ended September 1. Rulemaking for enforcement of the new law is underway and includes opportunities for public comment at these public hearings:

November 8, 10:00am
Spokane Center Place Auditorium
2426 N Discovery Pl
Spokane Valley, WA 99216

November 9, 10:00am
L&I Tumwater Auditorium
7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501

A prehearing overview of the draft proposaed rules begins at 9 a.m. for each public hearing.


Source: Washington Department of Labor & Industries