Before 2012, roughly 190,000 employees, four in 10 workers had no paid sick leave in the City of Seattle.
78 percent of restaurant workers, 55 percent of retail workers, and even 29 percent of workers in health care had to choose between going to work sick and getting paid, or staying home and losing pay or worse.
Puget Sound Sage was instrumental in passing the Seattle Paid Sick & Safe Time, as part of the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, a coalition of small business, faith-based, labor, family, and community groups. Sage helped formulate legislation, based on similar laws in California cities, and mobilize public support for the campaign, including educational events at fast food restaurants, coffee shops and City Council hearings.
The legislation passed in 2011, ensuring that most employees working in the City of Seattle are provided with the sick leave they need to take care of their health and safety needs without the risk of losing a day’s wages or even their job.
The law requires employers with more than four employees to provide leave for all workers, including those who are full time, part time, or temporary. Both Portland, Oregon and New York City have enacted similar paid sick days legislation following Seattle’s success, as well as numerous other cities and states across the country.
Seattle's Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance went into effect on September 1, 2012.
The Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (PSST) requires employers to provide paid sick and safe time for employees. PSST can be used for an employee's absence from work due to illness, medical appointments, or critical safety issue, including domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
The ordinance applies to all employers with more than four full-time equivalent employees. All employees are eligible for the new benefit, including full time, part-time and temporary workers.