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COMING IN 2018: MANDATED PAID SICK LEAVE FOR ALL EMPLOYERS
Initiative 1433, passed by the voters in November 2016, requires that all employers in Washington begin providing their employees with paid sick leave, effective January 1, 2018.
Highlights of Initiative 1433’s mandates include:
Unfortunately, the text of Initiative 1433 leaves many unanswered questions that arguably require clarification, such as: (i) must an employer begin tracking its exempt employees’ time for purposes of calculating sick leave accruals; (ii) may an employer require medical verification where leave abuse is suspected; (iii) may an employer properly discipline in cases of confirmed leave abuse or violation of attendance policies, even if the employee used paid sick leave; etc.?
The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is in the process of developing rules to enforce the requirements of Initiative 1433. Employers who are interested in providing feedback with respect to the anticipated regulations, or who wish to review the draft proposed rules, may do so at https://lni.us.engagementhq.com.
In the interim, we recommend that employers begin reviewing their existing sick leave policies (or lack thereof) and considering whether changes may be required in light of the above-referenced requirements. While it may be premature to implement changes to existing sick leave policies prior to finalization of the L&I rules, it is not too early to begin thinking about how Initiative 1433 might impact your existing workplace policies and practices with respect to sick leave.
Inslee Best is happy to assist in this endeavor; please do not hesitate to contact one of our attorneys if you have any questions or if we can be of further assistance.
This publication is intended to be informational only, to update our clients and friends as to recent legal developments. It is not intended to be, nor should it be used as, a substitute for specific legal advice, which may only be given in response to inquiries regarding particular situations.