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Washington’s Paid Sick Leave Law

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Know your rights to care for your health.

The law is on your side to help you protect customers, co-workers and others when you get sick. On Jan. 1, 2018, Washington’s Paid Sick Leave Law took effect. It promotes public health, family stability and economic security. Learn about your rights to care for your health.*

When does paid sick leave start?

  • 90 calendar days after your first day of employment.

How much paid sick leave do I get?

  • At least 1 hour for every 40 hours worked.
  • This includes part-time and seasonal workers.
  • You are paid your normal hourly wage at the time you used leave.
  • You may carry over up to 40 hours of unused leave into the next year.

When can I use paid sick leave?

  • To care for you or your family’s physical and mental health needs. This includes:
    • Children, step and foster children, and grandchildren.
    • Parents, step and foster parents, and grandparents.
    • Spouse or registered domestic partner.
    • Brothers and sisters.
  • To seek safety from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • When a public official closes your workplace or your child's school or childcare for any health-related reason.

What do I need to do to use paid sick leave?

  • Tell your employer you or a family member is sick as soon as possible.
  • If you’re out sick more than 3 days, your employer may need to verify you’re sick.

Does everyone in Washington get the same paid sick leave?

  • No, some employers provide more generous benefits and have other requirements.


Call Washington State Department of Labor & Industries at (866) 219-7321.


The Minimum Wage Requirements & Labor Standards Act protects you from retaliation.

* Employees exempt from the Minimum Wage Act (RCW 49.46) are not eligible for paid sick leave. This may include salaried executive managers, independent contractors and those working for tribes on tribal lands.