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Initiative 1433

An Overview of the New Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Requirements

Initiative 1433 rulemaking process

L&I wants your assistance with development of the scope of the rules for I-1433. We're asking for the public's help in identifying the information that should be included.

How you can particpate:

Changes to the state minimum wage

The minimum wage will be $11 per hour in 2017

  • The minimum wage applies to all jobs, including agriculture.
  • Employers must pay employees age 16 and older at least $11 per hour in 2017. WAC 296-126-020 (app.leg.wa.gov).
  • Employers are allowed to pay 85 percent of the minimum wage to employees under age 16. WAC 296-126-020 (app.leg.wa.gov). For 2017, this rate is $9.35 per hour.
  • Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac currently have higher minimum wage rates. The local rate applies if it is higher than the state minimum wage rate.
  • The initiative does not change overtime pay requirements.

The initiative sets future minimum wage rates

The initiative contains important language regarding tips and service charges

The initiative states that an employer must pay to its employees:

  • All tips and gratuities; and
  • All service charges as defined under RCW 49.46.160 (app.leg.wa.gov), except those that are itemized as not being payable to the employee or employees servicing the customer.
  • Tips and service charges paid to an employee may not offset the state minimum wage requirement.

Paid sick leave requirements

Starting January 1, 2018, employers in Washington will be required to provide their employees with paid sick leave.

Accrual

  • Paid sick leave shall accrue at a minimum rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked as an employee.
  • An employee is entitled to use accrued paid sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after the start of employment.
  • Unused paid sick leave of 40 hours or less must be carried over to the following year.
  • Employers are allowed to provide employees with more generous carry over and accrual policies.

Usage

  • Employees may use paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member.
  • An employee may use paid sick leave when the employee's work or the employee's child's school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason.
  • An employee may use paid sick leave for absences that qualify for leave under the state's Domestic Violence Leave Act.
  • Employers are not prevented from allowing employees to use paid sick leave for additional purposes.

Rulemaking for paid sick leave

  • In 2017, L&I will develop rules to enforce this new requirement. The rules will include procedures for notification to employees and reporting regarding sick leave, and protecting employees from retaliation for the lawful use of sick leave.
  • The rulemaking process will include opportunities for public comment, including public hearings.
  • Interested parties can sign up for updates on the Employment Standards' listserv.

Questions?

People with questions can contact the Employment Standards Program at L&I by phone (1-866-219-7321) or email (esgeneral@Lni.wa.gov).

Read the text of Initiative 1433 (22 KB PDF) (sos.wa.gov).

 

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