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21 Apr 2016


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Washington State Increase Minimum Wage & Authorize Sick Leave

The people of   Washington state decided to vote yes in the 2016 referendum to increase the minimum wage from

$9.47 to $13.50 and require employers to provide paid sick leave.

The increases will take place annually between 2017 and 2020 as follows:


-$11.00    -  1 January 2017
-$11.50    -  1 January 2018
-$12.00    -  1 January 2019
-$13.50    -  1 January 2020

Beginning in January 2021 future increases in the minimum wage will be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Tips and service charges paid to an employee are in addition to, and may not count towards, the employee's hourly minimum wage.

Beginning January 1, 2018, every employer must provide to each of its employees paid sick leave.

Employers must give their employees at least one hour of paid sick leave for every forty hours worked.

Employers may also provide paid sick leave in advance of accrual.

An employer may require verification from the employee when more than 3 days of sick leave is requested.

Unused paid sick leave carries over to the following year, except that an employer is not required to allow an employee to carry over paid sick leave in excess of forty hours.

Under this law an employer is not required to provide financial or other reimbursement for accrued and unused paid sick leave to any employee upon the employee's termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.

When there is a separation from employment and the employee is rehired within twelve months of separation by the same employer, whether at the same or a different business location of the employer, previously accrued unused paid sick leave shall be reinstated and the previous period of employment shall be counted for purposes of determining the employee's eligibility to use paid sick leave.

Violations of this law will result in the employer being charged with a gross misdemeanour and subjected to paying legal fees and fully paying any unpaid amounts to their enployees.

See other States minimum wages.

Washington State Ballot Initiative 1433
Washington State Secretary of State Website

By Bill Williams














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