Washington State Employment Law Changes

The State of Washington passed a few notable employment laws this year to take effect in 2018 and 2019.  Washington passed a statewide sick leave law; Seattle and Tacoma have existing local versions.  

Under the new law, most employees must accrue paid sick leave at a minimum rate of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. This includes part-time and seasonal workers.  Paid sick leave must be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation.  

Employees are entitled to use accrued paid sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after the start of their 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.

In 2019, Washington has passed a Paid Leave Law for employees that take leave under the State Paid Leave Act.  This act is similar to the Federal Family Medical Leave Act.  


Employment Law Changes at the Federal Level

Not much is changing at the federal level in 2018, but there are a few things you should be aware of in the new year. First, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to increase workplace raids by “four or five times” next year. So you need to get ready. Conduct an i-9 audit now, and be sure to use the updated form i-9 for newly hired employees and review the updated i-9 handbook for employers.


Next Steps

Make sure you’re in compliance with any new and existing labor laws, and be sure to seek legal counsel on these and all employment law issues.