UPDATE: The Seattle Office of Labor Standards published its final Paid Sick and Safe Time rules, available here. The rule defining the rate of pay for paid sick leave has been modified and reopened for public comment. As originally proposed, the rate of pay for PSST, known as “normal hourly compensation,” would have included holiday pay and premium pay. Under the new proposal, the definition of normal hourly compensation will align with state law to include differentials, however holiday pay and premium pay would be excluded. OLS will accept comments on this proposed rule until 5:00 p.m. on June 19, 2018.
Under Washington’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, eligible employees will be entitled to paid leave up to 12 weeks for their own serious health condition (medical leave) or for family care (family leave), up to 16 weeks combined family and medical leave, and up to 2 additional weeks for certain pregnancy complications. Starting on January 1, 2019, employers must begin remitting premiums and submitting quarterly reports for PFML. Starting January 1, 2020, employees may begin taking PFML leave.
Washington is the latest state to pass a so-called “Ban the Box” law that limits employers’ ability to use criminal background checks to screen applicants and employees. While similar restrictions have existed in the City of Seattle since 2013 (see prior advisories here
), the new state law extends restrictions to all employers with employees in Washington state. In addition, Spokane has passed its own "Ban the Box" ordinance that places different, and in some ways greater, restrictions on employers with employees performing work within the City of Spokane. The Washington statewide law goes into effect June 7, 2018
. The Spokane Ordinance goes into effect June 14, 2018
. Employers should review their hiring, promotion, and termination policies and procedures to ensure they comply with each of these laws, as applicable.