Tacoma New Paid Leave Ordinance and Notice

The new Tacoma Paid Leave Ordinance allows workers in Tacoma to earn and use Paid Leave when they need time off from work to take care of issues related to their own health or the health of a family member.

The City of Tacoma, Washington passed a Paid Leave Ordinance (TMC 18.10) that allows eligible workers to earn and use paid leave from work to care for their own illness, preventative healthcare, or injury or for family members who are sick, injured, or need preventative healthcare. The ordinance also includes time off for domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or other safety-related issues for workers or covered family members. The ordinance takes effect February 1, 2016.

Which Workers Are Covered by the Tacoma Paid Leave Ordinance?

The Tacoma Paid Leave Ordinance applies to all employees who work within the geographical boundaries of Tacoma for more than 80 hours in a calendar year – even if their employer is not located in Tacoma.

The new ordinance provides examples of covered employees:

  • Employees who conduct their work in Tacoma are covered by the ordinance
  • Employees who make pick-ups, deliveries or sales calls within Tacoma are covered by the Ordinance for the hours that the Employees are physically in Tacoma and performing work.
  • Employees who live in Tacoma and work at home are covered for all hours that they perform while physically located in Tacoma.

How Do Tacoma Workers Accrue and Use Paid Leave?

Workers earn a minimum of one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked within Tacoma up to a cap of 24 hours within a year. They can begin using accrued paid leave beginning on the 180 days after beginning employment.

A worker can carry over up to 24 hours of unused accrued paid leave into the following calendar year and then use the carry-over hours and newly accrued hours with a total use not to exceed 40 hours in any calendar year.

What Are Allowable Reasons for Using Paid Leave in Tacoma?

The new Tacoma ordinance allows workers to use paid leave for:

  • Mental or physical Illness, injury or preventative health care for either the worker or a family member.
  • When a worker’s place of employment has been closed by order of a public official.
  • To care for a child whose school has been closed by order of a public official.
  • To seek safety, or law enforcement or legal help for domestic violence or sexual assault (either for the worker or a worker’s family member).
  • For bereavement of a family member.

An employer may ask for documentation to confirm that the reason for the paid leave adheres to the ordinance.

Tacoma Paid Leave Ordinance Posting Requirements

The City released an English version of the Tacoma Paid Leave Notice that is required to be displayed in Tacoma workplaces.

Employers are required to provide notice in the primary language of each employee when the City of Tacoma has released translated versions. The City is finalizing versions in Spanish, Korean, Russian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese and plan to release those prior to the ordinance’s effective date of February 1, 2016.


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