Washington Senate Approves Limiting Seattle Sick Leave

Mar 11, 2013

The Washington Senate moved Monday to limit the reach of Seattle’s pioneering paid sick leave law. In 2011, the city council voted to require all companies that do business in Seattle to offer paid sick leave. But in Olympia, the state senate approved a measure to limit the benefit only to those companies and workers based almost all the time within the city limits. State Sen. David Frockt from Seattle complained the bill is an attack on local control.

David Frockt: “It’s not about fairness, it’s about punishing Seattle for a policy choice that they have made to make Seattle a livable, workable place for the residents and the low income and low wage workers of that city.”

But, state Sen. Steve Hobbs from a suburban district in a nearby county said a geographic limit is needed to avoid further confusion.

Steve Hobbs: “If you read the bill, it doesn’t take away the sick leave. It puts rules and regulations and structures around it. That’s all it does.”

Paid sick time has been in effect in Seattle since September of last year. The measure now heads to the Washington House for further consideration.

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