Thanks to the work of the EOI-led Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed landmark city legislation into law September 23, 2011, ensuring hundreds of thousands of people working in Seattle will be able to earn paid sick days on the job.
When the new law takes effect on September 1st, 2012, an estimated 150,000 workers who previously did not earn paid sick days will begin to accrue them; thousands more workers will be able earn additional paid sick days and have additional flexibility for using them. Read the law
Over 100 local organizations and small businesses endorsed the paid sick days proposal. The Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce – whose leadership includes Economic Opportunity Institute, MomsRising, Puget Sound Sage, UFCW 21, Legal Voice, Washington CAN, Puget Sound Association for Retired Americans, M.L. King County Labor Council, and the Washington State Labor Council – mobilized thousands of Seattle workers and voters who called, emailed and turned out in support. Public enthusiasm and the leadership of Councilmember Nick Licata led to passage by the City Council on September 12th by an 8-1 vote.
Governor Gary Locke signed the Family Care bill into law on March 29, 2002. Employees in Washington state are entitled to use sick leave or other paid time off to care for an ill spouse, child under 18, disabled child over age 18, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent. The Washington Work and Family Coalition developed the policy and mobilized support for the bill's passage.
The Washington Work and Family Coalition and state legislators first introduced minimum paid leave bills in the 2003 and 2006 legislative sessions. In 2012, Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles introduced House Bill 2508 and Senate Bill 6229, incorporating the paid sick and safe leave standards by the City of Seattle into a statewide measure. Testimony at hearings in both House and Senate committees established the need to prioritize passage of paid sick days in the next legislature.
05.09.2011 | Food safety and public health top the list of benefits of ensuring people working in Seattle have paid sick leave – but it would also improve children’s health and provide support for victims of domestic violence. There are economic benefits too: paid sick leave reduces business costs through reduced turnover and absences, and increases workplace productivity.
In 2010, EOI brought together a broad coalition to form the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce. Policy success »
Sharon took on many added responsibilities when her father began his battle with cancer in 2007. She never expected her employer of 19 years to be anything less than supportive – until she started taking time off...
Expert opinions and personal stories about the need for paid sick days from people caring for their child, spouse or parents.
Family Care Act
Paid Sick Days
Paid Sick Days
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from the Economic Opportunity Institute. Liquid layout thanks to Matthew James Taylor.