Paid sick days pass in Washington, D.C.

The Washington, D.C. Council voted unanimously to make Washington, D.C. the second city in the country (after San Francisco) to require employers to grant their workers paid sick leave. Legislation to establish minimum standards of paid sick leave in Washington State was introduced in the 2006 legislature.

Under D.C.’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act, full-time employees at businesses with 100 or more workers will get seven days of paid leave, and employees at businesses with 24 or fewer workers will get three days. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty must sign the bill, and Congress has 90 days to review it before it takes effect.

Will Washington State entertain similar legislation?

Provisions of previous bills, sponsored by Senator Karen Keiser and Representative Mary Lou Dickerson, included:

  • Minimum standard of 10 days or 80 hours of paid sick leave annually
  • Pro-rated for part-time workers
  • Available for worker illness, doctor visits, and family illness
  • Employers meeting or exceeding the standards would not need to change their policies
  • Employers can require medical certification of health conditions

Neither the House or Senate committees acted on the bills before the legislative cut off for consideration, but it seems likely they will be back again another year.

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