This makes Seattle the third city in the U.S. (after San Francisco and Washington, D.C.) to mandate paid sick days for employees to care for themselves or a family member when ill. The amount of paid sick days depends on the size of the business, as follows:
- 5-49 employees: at least five days
- 50-249 employees: at least seven days
- 250+ employees: at least nine days
Businesses with fewer than five employees are exempt, as well as businesses less than two years old. Otherwise, workers can start using their accrued paid time off after a six-month waiting period.
As you would expect, some people are giving the bill a thumbs up while others are less than enthusiastic.Councilmember Nick Licata, who sponsored the legislation, feels the bill is a positive, both for businesses and employees:
"It's wrong that someone has to choose between going to work sick or losing pay," Licata says. Seattle Times
Supporters add that paid sick days protect public health, help increase worker productivity and reduce turnover.
The dissenters, however, are concerned that the new paid sick leave requirements will put a strain on businesses already struggling with a weakened economy. One business consultant cautioned, "You're making it more expensive to do business and more difficult to create jobs."
Where does your business stand regarding paid sick leave? Check out this previous post for additional insight.