If you're sick, you can stay the fuck home and still get paid!
This week, the House of Representatives passed HB 1313, establishing minimum standards for earned paid sick time, protecting the 1 million Washington workers who do not currently have paid sick leave. Employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked (or every 30 hours if the employer has more than 250 full-time employees). This bill will probably impact people in the food service and retail industries the most, since Washington currently has approximately 190,000 people working in both of those areas, all with limited access to sick leave.
Other states and cities are working to institute paid sick leave bills, some with great success. San Francisco has had sick day laws since 2007, and even during the height of the recession 1 in 4 employees said they were better able to care for their families. Newark, the other Washington, and New York City have all moved forward with paid sick leave laws, and
One of the coolest aspects of Washington's bill is that paid sick leave would also cover taking time off to care for relatives, and it would allow you to take paid sick time to cope with the consequences of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. From the press release:
Under HB 1313, employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave time for every 40 hours worked or for every 30 hours worked if their employer has over 250 full-time employees. Workers may use sick and safe time for their own illness or injury, diagnosis or preventative care, or for the health needs of a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent-in-law or grandparent. Workers may also use sick and safe time to cope with the consequences of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking.
The Washington Work and Family Coalition notes that "the laws have had small to no impact on business costs, hiring, or location decisions," so take heart, employers—this really is good for everyone.