Spokane Implements Citywide Paid Sick Leave

Published on February 15, 2016

Spokane’s City Council overrode a mayoral veto to pass a new Earned Sick and Safe Leave ordinance (C-35300). Workers will earn paid time off for sick leave or for personal safety matters.

The law will take effect January 1, 2017 and includes a required posting.

Which Businesses are Required to Offer Earned Safe and Sick Leave in Spokane?

The new ordinance applies to all employers in Spokane with employees who work more than 240 hours in a year. The ordinance does not apply to work-study students, independent contractors, or seasonal workers. Additionally, new businesses are exempted from the requirements of the ordinance for one year after receiving a business license from the City.

Spokane Earned Sick and Safe Time Accrual and Usage

Workers can use accrued earned sick and safe time for:

  • Diagnosis, care, or treatment of the worker’s or family members’ mental or physical health.
  • Protection and safety (from domestic abuse or stalking, for example).
  • Child’s school closure.

Employees begin accruing sick and safe time the first day of employment at a rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked, but just as with Jersey City and other municipalities, the size of the business determines how much leave a worker is allowed to earn each year.

  • Small Business (Nine or fewer employees): Up to 24 hours per year.
  • Large Business (10 or more employees): Up to 40 hours per year.

Workers in either business size can carry over up to 24 hours of unused earned time to the previous year.

Spokane Earned Safe and Sick Leave Notice and Posting Requirements

At least once per quarter, and whenever requested by the worker, an employer must provide workers with notice of their current levels of accrued sick and safe leave.

Employers must display (by the January 1, 2017 effective date) the Earned Sick and Safe Leave notice that the City will provide.

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