Voters in Washington state last November decided that all employers here must provide paid sick leave to their employees. Now, administrators at Department of Labor & Industries are designing the specific rules for how that will be done, even as court challenges to the new employment “right” are argued in legal channels.

Passage of Initiative 1433 started a process that is on-going to determine details of how the new state mandate may impact – or over-rule – existing employer policies that provide workers with paid time off to deal with their own illnesses or those of family members. You can see the background for these new rules at this link.

L&I has been inviting questions and suggestions, and that invitation is open through March 3, 2017. Early submissions reported on the website related to what kind of record-keeping will be involved; whether it applies to current labor contracts that have leave provisions; and if workers under age 18 are included in the proscriptions. Comments have come so far from business and industry organizations, labor unions, individual employers and employees, other government agencies, along with municipal offices that enforce similar rules.

You can read through the comments received at this link.

The agency will circulate an initial draft rule incorporating the input received for comments in April. Whatever is finally decided will become effective for all employers on Jan. 1, 2018.