Washington has joined the growing number of states to adopt paid sick and safe leave for all workers with approval of Initiative 1433.
Starting in January 2018, everyone working in Washington will be assured at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. An estimated one million workers in the state do not have any paid sick leave now, and others only very limited access. Four Washington cities have previously passed paid sick leave ordinances, Seattle, SeaTac, Tacoma, and Spokane. In those localities, more generous provisions will continue to prevail, including higher accrual levels in large companies in Seattle
Washington’s minimum wage will go to $11.00 on January 1, 2017, rising in three additional steps to $13.50 in 2020. Thereafter, it will rise with inflation as is currently the case. Without the initiative, the state minimum wage would only have risen 6 cents to $9.53 in 2017, not enough to cover basic expenses in any part of the state.
Paid sick leave can be used for health needs of the worker or a family member, or to deal with legal and safety needs arising from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Up to 40 hours can be carried over from year to year, with no other annual cap on annual usage.
The Raise Up Washington Coalition of labor, faith, and community organizations wrote the initiative, collected signatures to qualify for the ballot, and conducted a broad grassroots campaign to assure passage of the initiative.