Paid Sick Days

Paid sick days are the responsible way to prevent the spread of disease and keep everyone healthy by encouraging sick workers and children to stay home – away from co-workers, schoolmates, and customers.

Yet an estimated 1 million people working in Washington have no paid sick leave, including:

  • 170,000 in accommodation and food service
  • 167,000 in retail
  • 93,000 in health care and social assistance

Since September 2012, Seattle’s paid sick and safe leave ordinance has ensured that people working in the city can care for their families’ health needs without losing a day’s wages, or their job. An April 2014 evaluation from the University of Washington concluded that the law has significantly increased access to paid sick leave, especially among restaurant workers, and that 70% of business owners are supportive.

Washington’s House of Representatives passed H.B. 1313, establishing statewide sick and safe leave, in January 2014, but the bill stalled in the Senate. Sick leave standards have been implemented in San Francisco, Washington, DC, Connecticut, Portland, OR, SeaTac, New York City, Jersey City, and Newark. Tacoma and Eugene, along with many other cities and states are now considering paid sick days proposals.