State government enforcers have released the rules under which employers in Washington will have to provide paid sick leave to virtually all of their workers beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) administrators say they are creating the structure under which voter-approved Initiative 1433 will be implemented.

“This is a big change,” says L&I Assistant Director Elizabeth Smith in explaining and outreach that sought input on the proposed rules and what their impact would be for businesses.

“Now that they’re final, the next step is to make sure that employers know what’s required so they can be ready when the new law takes effect on January 1.”

An earlier Cost Benefit Analysis estimated that the new sick leave rules would cost between $44 million and $50 million annually, while additional administrative expenses would run from $12- to $31-million statewide, with small businesses incurring most of that impact.

The newly adopted rules provide details on how the law will be carried out, covering topics like how employees accrue paid sick leave, what they can use it for, when they can use it, and how to calculate rates of pay for paid sick leave.

Along with mandatory paid sick leave, Initiative 1433 also increases the state minimum wage annually over the next three years. In 2018, it will climb to $11.50 an hour. The initiative also ensures employers pay their employees tips and service charges.

There’s more information online about the upcoming public hearings and the paid sick leave rules process.