Spokane City Council approves paid sick leave ordinance that applies to all employers in the city.
(Jan. 22, 2016) This month the Spokane City Council voted to require employers in the city to provide paid sick and safe leave beginning Jan. 1, 2017. The ordinance, which passed in a 6-1 vote, requires businesses with 10 or more employees to provide five days of leave each year to employees who have worked 240 or more hours. Businesses with nine or fewer employee must provide three days paid leave.
Other key components of the ordinance include:
- An employee may carry over up to 24 hours of unused leave into the next year.
- A new business has one year from the date it obtains a business license to provide paid leave to employees.
- Employees are not required to provide a doctor’s note when taking their paid leave.
- This ordinance does not apply to seasonal or temporary workers, work-study students, independent contractors or those employed by a firm engaged in construction work.
- Instead of using their paid leave, employees may elect to work additional hours or shifts during the same or next pay period to compensate for hours not worked due to sick time.
Nothing in this ordinance prohibits employers from offering “all-purpose” Paid Time Off (PTO) in place of earned sick and safe leave provided that any PTO policy accrue and be available for use in at least the same amounts and for at least the same purposes as is the earned sick and safe leave provided in this ordinance.
If you have any questions about the legislation, contact WRA/WLA local government coordinator Spokane Zachary Lindahl at ZacharyL@warestaurant.org.