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Paid Sick Leave Draft Sample Policies

Participation for I-1433 Draft Sample Policies has concluded.

Man in the foreground with arms folded, while in the background another man and woman stand back to back with their arms folded.

To help employers implement the requirements set forth in the paid sick leave rules, and to help workers understand their rights, L&I wants your feedback on the draft sample policies and draft employee paid sick leave notification.

We are asking the public to review the draft sample policies and draft employee paid sick leave notification by November 21, 2017. When providing comments, please make reference to the policy title and WAC you are commenting on. The links to those drafts are located here.

Employee Paid Sick Leave Notification

Paid Sick Leave Policy

Verification (WAC 296-128-660)

Frontloaded (WAC 296-128-730)

Reasonable Notice (WAC 296-128-650)

Shared Paid Sick Leave (WAC 296-128-710)

Feedback can be submitted directly to this page via the “Submit Comments” tab, or using an attached document via the “Upload Documents” tab.

Feedback can also be submitted via the i1433rules@Lni.wa.gov(External link) email box. Feedback submitted to the email box will be uploaded to this engagement site.

To help employers implement the requirements set forth in the paid sick leave rules, and to help workers understand their rights, L&I wants your feedback on the draft sample policies and draft employee paid sick leave notification.

We are asking the public to review the draft sample policies and draft employee paid sick leave notification by November 21, 2017. When providing comments, please make reference to the policy title and WAC you are commenting on. The links to those drafts are located here.

Employee Paid Sick Leave Notification

Paid Sick Leave Policy

Verification (WAC 296-128-660)

Frontloaded (WAC 296-128-730)

Reasonable Notice (WAC 296-128-650)

Shared Paid Sick Leave (WAC 296-128-710)

Feedback can be submitted directly to this page via the “Submit Comments” tab, or using an attached document via the “Upload Documents” tab.

Feedback can also be submitted via the i1433rules@Lni.wa.gov(External link) email box. Feedback submitted to the email box will be uploaded to this engagement site.

To submit your feedback directly to this page, please enter your comments in the text box below.

I would like to see L&I suggested notification to employees for those employers with PTO plans, possibly with a few options which the employer could choose the right for them.

Mickey Thurman 24 days ago

The sample verification policy (WAC 296-128-660) states that when verification is requested of an employee who has been absent for more than 3 days because of illness or to care for a family member; acceptable verification may include “A written or oral statement from the employee indicating that the use of paid sick leave is necessary to take care of themselves or a family member.”

This draft language goes far beyond WAC 296-128-660 in that it would allow the employee to verify his/her use of sick leave with nothing more than an oral or written statement indicating that the use of sick leave was to care for him/herself or a family member. The WAC permits an employee’s submission of an oral or written statement in the verification process only when “the employee anticipates that the [verification] requirement will result in an unreasonable burden or expense”; in which case the employee’s written statement must not only state that the leave was for an authorized purpose; but must also state how the employer’s verification requirement creates an unreasonable burden or expense for the employee. See, WAC 296-128-660(4)(a).

The draft policy also contains a mechanism for an employee to contend that the verification process imposes an unreasonable burden or expense; but it is difficult to imagine how a policy that allows verification by nothing more than the employee’s own statement that he was sick or caring for a sick family member could ever impose an unreasonable burden or expense on an employee. This illustrates the overreach of this draft language.

Beth McIntyre 24 days ago

An employee works and earns 40 hours in 2018, if no sick leave is used, 40 carry over. The next year 2019 an employee works and earns 40 hours of sick leave and again none taken, how much is in their bank start of 2020? Is employee bank accumulative from year to year if they never use it, is there a cap?

Mary Anne Nelson 28 days ago

Currently our benefit eligible staff (scheduled to work more than 30 hours per week) accrue PTO and EIB hours at a much higher rate than 1 hour per 40 worked. Do we have to offer WA sick leave in addition to PTO and EIB or do we then just have to offer WA Sick leave to our employees that are not eligible for PTO and EIB? Does this cover all employees or just Non-Exempt?

Kelly Braunschweig 29 days ago

An employee works 2080 hours/year and thus earns 52 hours of sick leave each year. If no sick leave is taken for 5 years, should not the carry over be 200 hours? Every year only a max of 40 hours of earned sick leave for that year can be carried over. However, your documents are ambiguous and appear to state only 40 hours will be in the sick leave hour bank after 5 years. You state a minimum of 40 can be carried over. Others have commented that "minimum" should be "maximum" and they are correct. What needs to be added in is that the 40 hours were earned that year.

William Matson about 1 month ago

I'm the HR Director of a staffing firm and while our employees work 'for' us, they are also working onsite at a customer facility. Should the employee call out sick and the host employer want them replaced, what is our protection against a claim of retaliation? Are we able to mandate that sick leave be taken in no less than 4 hour increments? (Which we do now) or do we have to allow them to take it at 1 hour intervals?

Dee Skelton about 1 month ago

The way I understand it, if an employer has a PTO plan which meets the law, and if an employee uses their PTO time for other than sick leave, and they are sick longer than their remaining time, they don't get extra time because they didn't use it all as "sick," correct? Will PTO employers need to provide employees with all of the rules about what qualifies as sick leave?

Regarding part-time and scheduled vs. required work hours it would be helpful to have these guidelines in writing. If an employee is on call and not "required" to work, are we still required to accrue sick leave for them? The part-time, on-call, random hours are very confusing as to whether the employee earns it and when they can use it.

Does the employee have the authority to say "I don't want to use my sick leave time right now, I want to save it?" or is that a company policy?

If an employer decides that they want to maintain their PTO policy as it is, which doesn't give PTO to part-time employees, can the employer decide to run PTO for full-time and the sick leave for part-time?

The forms which state allowable reasons for sick leave are not really usable for employers with PTO.The rest is useful.

Mickey Thurman about 1 month ago

School districts use a number of on-call substitutes. Our workers are mostly organized for collective bargaining. We could use some guidance regarding contract language allowing an on-call employee to accumulate [not a real problem] and utilize [more of a problem] paid sick leave.

Eric Nordlof about 1 month ago

If someone is sick at work are we able to force them to go home and take sick leave?
Do employees have to use their sick leave vs. non paid time off?
What about OT, do they get sick leave time to accrue on each 40 hours? So, if they worked 280 hours in a month is that 7 hours?

Kim, Fangman about 1 month ago

In your sample documents, you list "spouse's parent" as a defined family member, however, "spouse's parent" is not listed in the RCW49.46.210. Are they considered a family member or not?
Also, I would make it clear in your sample policies, that the law only applies to non-exempt employees. Employers can handle sick leave for exempt employees in any manner they so choose.

Jo Powers about 1 month ago

Can you clarify if sick leave pay applies to those who do not meet the definition of full time?

William Gilroy about 1 month ago

I would like to thank Lorna Klemanski, Chelan Public Utility District #1 for her input. I appreciated I did not have to re write that entire piece. She said it so well.
I am the owner of a small business, group care home for foster children with 24/7 nursing care. Our employees are part time (under 30 hours a week) and full time (30+ hours per week). We also employ casual employees who work less than 20 hours in a quarter. We have never paid sick time for part time employees. My question is, does this initiative mean that every employee we have on our staff regardless of the number of hours worked have to be paid sick leave? Our policy is very clear. 30+ hours a week and you qualify for benefits, sick time, vacation time and medical insurance. Less than that, then no you don't qualify. Is this initiative canceling out my policy? Judith Krantz, President/Owner BriTon House Inc.

Judith Krantz about 1 month ago

These comments relate to the draft policy

RE: “Paid sick leave may be used for the following:” section

2nd and 3rd bullets. The WAC refers to the language of the RCW. The RCW says “…preventative medical care.” Your draft policy also permits preventative dental and optical care. Is it your interpretation that “medical” means dental and optical as well?

5th bullet. Extends benefits of this greater definition of “family member” to chapter 49.76 RCW which does not include grandchildren or siblings currently.

RE: “Authorized use of paid sick leave for domestic violence….” Section

Confused as to why so chapter 49.76 RCW has been addressed in apparent detail in the model policy for RCW 49.46.210.

RE: “Accrual of Paid Sick Leave” section

Suggest clarification that the policy only applies to employees as defined in RCW 49.46.010(3) to assist employers who have both covered and non-covered employees.

Debbie Lund about 1 month ago

We are a multi-state employer. Does the sick leave accrual pertain to hours worked outside of WA State? What about employees who are not a residence of WA State? Do they also accrue sick leave?

Melissa Crossley about 1 month ago

What guidance is there for employers for when and how they can take disciplinary action for abuses of the Paid Sick Leave Policy. ie: Sick time taken in 1 day increments always on Mondays and Fridays or a similar pattern?

K Robins about 1 month ago

We have a current PTO policy that meets the accrual, carryover and eligibility requirements of the paid sick leave regulations. Starting January 1, 2018 we will classify PTO as either "PTO" or "PTO Sick" to track employee's use of paid sick leave. Some employees will have significant PTO balances on January 1, 2018. If an employee with enough PTO already accrued uses 16 hours of PTO in January for their own personal illness and works 152 hours, do all 16 hours count against their "PTO Sick" since they would have only earned 3.8 hours in a pure sick leave accrual scenario

AC about 1 month ago

Is there specific verbiage a firm should use if they use a Paid time off (PTO) program that encompasses sick leave and personal time off? Our minimum PTO provides the minimum time required under the new law. Is the minimum by law restricted to sick time use or can it also be used by the employee for personal time?

Carol P about 1 month ago

We are a Head Start Employer in the States of WA and ID. We hire subs during the school year, does the new sick leave accrual under Initiative 1433 apply to employees who work on a temporary basis? It would be difficult to administer the use of sick leave hours for employees who do not work regularly scheduled hours, like subs.

Ken Ganskie about 1 month ago

This is all new to our small non-profit business...is FRONT-LOADED PAID SICK LEAVE a requirement? All of the employees will be starting with a zero balance beginning 1 JAN and accruing at the designated rate for the mandated "1 hour for every 40 hours worked" rule

E. Sherer about 2 months ago

It is a shame the state did not take into account employers that currently provide very generous sick leave and vacation leave benefits. These employers should be exempt from the i1433 requirements. Why wasn't this addressed? All the paperwork provided is burdensome to employers who already provide sick leave. Frontloaded Paid Sick Leave? Employee Notification of Frontloaded Paid Sick Leave? We provide employees their sick leave and vacation leave accruals/balances on every paycheck. Incorporating the new Sick Leave accrual allowance as a part of our already generous sick leave is also a burden on the employers.

Kim Bachert about 2 months ago