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Member employers be aware! New rules began January 1st.

As we explained in previous issues of BNCW's Member Messenger, Washington voters approved Initiative 1433 (in 2016), which increases the state's minimum wage each year until 2020 and requires employers to provide paid sick leave.

Minimum Wage:

* Minimum wage will increase each year for the next three years. 2018--$11.50; 2019--$12; 2020 $13.50.

* Minimum wage applies to all jobs, including ag and all employees age 16 and older.

* Beginning in 2021, minimum wage increases will be calculated by L&I using a formula tied to rate of inflation.

Beginning January 1st:

* Employers will be required to provide most employees with paid sick leave.

* Employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked--including part-time and seasonal workers--and must be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation.

* New employees will be entitled to accrue sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after beginning employment.

* Unused paid sick leave of 40 hours or less must be carried over to the following year.

Usage of Sick Leave:

* Employees may use paid sick leave to care for themselves or family members.

* Employees may use paid sick leave when the workplace or then child's school or care provider is closed by a public official for any health-related reason.

* Employees may use paid sick leave for absences that qualify for leave under the state's Domestic Violence Leave Act.

While employers are not required to have a written paid sick leave policy to be in compliance with the new leave rules, it's a very good idea to implement one. However, if employers wish to apply specific elements such as "employee reasonable notice" or a "shared leave program" or verification requirements, the employer must implement and maintain a written policy.

For more specific information about implementing the new paid sick leave requirements, please visit for a link to access L&I's Employer Resource Center for Paid Sick Leave.

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Publication:Wenatchee Business Journal
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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