Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Answering questions about Seattle paid sick days

Seattle paid sick and safe timeOver 100 business owners, HR representatives, and employers packed into conference rooms at the Swedish Medical Center in Ballard this afternoon as Karina Bull, an attorney with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, fielded questions about compliance with the city’s paid sick days ordinance, set to go into effect September 1st.

When the new law takes effect, an estimated 150,000 workers who previously did not earn paid sick days will start to accrue them, and thousands more workers will be able earn additional paid sick days and have additional flexibility in using them.

The forum was an opportunity for members of the business community to get answers to questions like: “Will paid time off plans have to be segmented under the new law? Why aren’t federal employees covered? How do I count employees crossing city lines? How do I cover salaried employees?”

“I thought the event went really well,” says Thai Nguyen, another presenter at the forum. “The turnout was excellent. We had a lot of questions we hadn’t had before, and a lot of them were more situational, specific to an employer group. I’m glad that a lot of questions got answered.”

Summer Smith, a human resources representative from Seattle Veterinary Associates concurs. “We still had some little gray areas, and it’s like, ‘What’s the answer to this? Do we have to follow this?…It was worth my time. I did learn a little bit more,” says Smith.

After the presentation people crowded around the presenters looking for answers to specific questions related to their business. “There’s obviously still a lot more questions that need to be answered,” acknowledges Nguyen.  “I hope they can get in contact with our office”

People interested in finding out more about implementation of the ordinance can contact the office at:

Seattle Office for Civil Rights
810 Third Avenue, Suite 750
Seattle, Washington 98104

Answers to many questions about the ordinance’s implementation can be found online in a helpful FAQ.

Other Q&A forums are scheduled later this month in West Seattle and Capitol Hill.

Tuesday, August 28, 5:30 pm – West Seattle: Neighborhood House, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, co-sponsored by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, August 29, 3 pm – Capitol Hill: Century Ballroom, 915 E. Pine Street, co-sponsored by the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Seattle Business Association and Cupcake Royale.

By EOI Intern Ashwin Warrior

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