Sick leave for part-time help now law for state

One hour of leave for one week of work

— Wash­ington businesses and part-time employees will enter the new year with a different relationship.

Because of an initiative (1433) Washington voters approved in 2016, employers will have to give sick leave to every employer.

In January of the same year, the Oregon legislature passed the Oregon Sick Time law, and several businesses are affected by both laws.

Eagle Newspapers, owner of the Daily Sun News, shouldn’t lose a beat. It has one year of experience with the Oregon law. Before the Oregon law passed, Eagle had not offered sick leave to people who worked less than 20 hours a week.

One of the businesses that will be impacted heavily is McDonald’s of Yakima County, which owns McDonald’s restaurants from Sunnyside to Cle Elum.

“We have to find a way to pay for it, just like we did the minimum wage,” co-owner Greg Luring said.

Luring said prices were raised and are raised every time the minimum wage rises.

“The real concern for me is when the customers say prices are too high,” he said. “The question will be how many we lose.”

By law, the minimum wage in Washington jumped from “9.47 per hour in 2016 to $11.50 an hour in 2018."

Luring said adding sick leave to part-time employees will cost less than minimum wage hikes have.

According to the new law, part-time employees must accrue paid sick leave at a rate of one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked.

Paid sick leave must be paid to employees at their normal rate of compensation.

New employees may start to use and be paid for accrued sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after the start of their employment.

Unused paid sick leave of 40 hours or less must be carried over to the following year.

Employees may use paid sick leave to: Care for themselves or their family members. When the employees’ workplace or their child’s school or place of care has been closed by a public official for any health-related reason.

Employers may allow employees to use paid sick leave for additional purposes. The may provide employees with more generous carry-over and accrual policies.

Hourly employees working less than 20 hours per week accrue 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Washington calls for 1 hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked.

Eagle will be implementing the Oregon Sick Time Law criteria for all Washington employees, so that everything is consistent for all employees.

Regular hours and overtime hours worked (active work hours) will be used when calculating the 1 hour of sick accrued for every 30 hours worked. Employees will be provided with their Oregon/Washington sick time balances, on a quarterly basis.


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