Construction workers employed by construction industry employers for less than 90 days before separation from employment, must be paid the balance of their accrued and unused paid sick leave following separation, in accordance with RCW 49.46.210(1)(l).

Frequently asked questions on paid sick leave separation payments in the construction industry

    Which workers must receive paid sick leave balance payouts following separation?

    Construction industry employers must pay the balance of a construction worker’s accrued and unused paid sick leave following separation if the construction worker was employed for less than 90 days.
    "Construction worker" means a worker who performed service, maintenance, or construction work on a jobsite, in the field or in a fabrication shop using the tools of the worker's trade or craft.
    "Construction industry employer" means an employer in the industry described in North American industry classification system industry code 23, except for residential building construction code 2361.

    I pay construction workers covered by a CBA for paid sick leave before it is used, under the requirements of RCW 49.46.180. Do I have to meet the separation payout requirements?

    Under most circumstances, no. However, if the applicable worker has any outstanding balance of accrued sick leave that has not been paid yet, the payment is owed following separation.

    Do I have to pay out sick leave for both involuntary and voluntary separations?

    Yes. “Separation” and “separates from employment” mean the end of the last day an employee is authorized or required by the employer to be on duty on the employer's premises or at a prescribed workplace. Construction workers who quit or are terminated are entitled to this payout regardless of the circumstances of their separation.

    Do I have to pay out sick leave if a construction worker is placed on stand-by for unemployment?

    Generally no. If the construction worker has a return-to-work date and actually returns to employment, the requirements would not apply to a construction worker placed on stand-by for unemployment.

    My organization rehires construction workers after they have separated from employment. How should I approach their paid sick leave upon rehire?

    When a construction worker, who did not reach their 90th calendar day of employment before their separation, is rehired within 12 months of separation whether at the same or a different business location of the employer, any sick leave previously paid out following separation does not need to be reinstated. However, the previous period of employment must be counted for purposes of determining the date upon which the worker is entitled to start using newly accrued paid sick leave. If the construction worker reached their 90th calendar day of employment before separation, any previously accrued and unused paid sick leave must be available for use upon rehire.


NAICS manual:

Statutes: RCW 49.46.210, RCW 49.46.180

Rules: WAC 296-128-600 through 860