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Washington Paid Sick Leave | Employer Responsibilities

In Washington State, employers are required to provide nearly all of their employees with paid sick leave, regardless of full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal status.

Washington Paid Sick Leave Requirements

As an employer, you must notify your employees of their right to paid sick leave. For every 40 hours worked, employers must provide at least one hour of paid sick leave and there is no cap on how many hours of sick leave an employee can accrue.

Paid sick leave must be paid at the employee's normal hourly compensation and within the same period it was used. At the end of the year, unused paid sick leave, up to 40 hours, must be carried over into the next year, although employers can choose to carry over more.

Employees are entitled to take paid sick leave once they have reached 90 calendar days of employment. You must allow employees to use paid sick leave for the following reasons, whether it applies to themselves or a family member:

  • An illness or injury

  • A physical or mental health condition

  • Doctor appointments

  • Preventive care

  • Closures of a workplace, a child's school, or daycare for health-related reasons

  • Absences that qualify under Washington’s Domestic Violence Leave Act

If verification for sick leave is required, a written policy must be provided to employees

Recording Paid Sick Leave

As an employer, you must record paid sick leave accrual and usage during the usual pay cycle, but no later than 30 days after the leave was accrued or used.

At least once a month, you must provide employees with the amount of paid sick leave they’ve accrued, the amount of used paid sick leave, and the paid sick leave balance available for use. This is typically provided on an employee's paystub.

Need Help with Payroll?

If you need help running payroll and keeping track of paid sick leave accrual and usage according to company policy and state law requirements, our payroll processing service might be perfect for you! Give us a call at (360) 756-5020 to see how we can help take the stress off of payroll for your company.


Important Note

It’s important to note that paid sick leave administered through the Labor & Industries Department (L&I) is different than Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The latter two apply to more serious conditions where an employee must take an extended period of time off.

For more information, visit these links on the Labor & Industries Website:


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