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March 1 Deadline for Notification to Existing Employees About Their New Washington Paid Sick Leave Rights



This Thursday—March 1—is the deadline for Washington employers to provide notice to current employees about their new paid sick leave rights under Washington’s paid sick leave law.

On January 1, 2018, Washington’s paid sick leave law—adopted by Washington voters under Initiative 1433—went into effect, providing paid sick leave rights for non-exempt employees. The law requires a one-time notification that must be sent to all current non-exempt employees by March 1, 2018, informing them about the new paid sick leave law. The notification must advise each employee of the following: 

  • The employee’s entitlement to paid sick leave under the new law;
  • The rate at which the employee will accrue paid sick leave;
  • The authorized purposes under which paid sick leave may be used; and
  • That retaliation by the employer for the employee’s lawful use of paid sick leave and other rights provided under chapter 49.46 RCW (the Minimum Wage Act), and all applicable rules, is prohibited.

Employees may receive the notification in writing or in electronic form. Employers must also give notice to future covered employees no later than their first day of employment.

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (“L&I”) has developed a form that employers can use for providing this notification. The L&I form includes a signature block for the employee to acknowledge receiving the notification, and a copy for the employee to keep. While the statute and regulations do not require that an employer obtain an employee’s signature on the form, having a form in each employee’s personnel file, signed by the employee and acknowledging receipt of the notification, is a good practice and can help obviate any claim by the employee that the company failed to provide proper notification. And according to L&I, using this form will meet L&I’s standards for compliance with the notification rules.

Here is a link to L&I’s employer resources page, which links to the notification form:

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