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2012-13 PSST Enforcement and 2014 PSST Enforcement Strategies

Paid Sick and Safe Time benefit for Seattle employees

As of September 1, 2012, employees in the City of Seattle accrue paid sick and paid safe time (PSST) for use when an employee or family member needs to take time off from work due to illness or a critical safety issue. The ordinance applies to all employers with more than four full-time equivalent employees. All employees are eligible for the new benefit, including full time, part-time and temporary workers.

PSST Video: Why Seattle Works Well

Employees will be able to use their accrued PSST as paid time off:

  • To deal with their own illness, injury or health condition.
  • To take care of a family member (including domestic partners) with an illness, injury or medical appointment.
  • When their place of business has been closed by order of a public official for health reasons.
  • For reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

For more information, call 206-684-4500 or email us:

General Information

Map showing Seattle City boundaries

View a map showing Seattle's boundary lines

On the left side of the page, click on the "Detailed Zoning" layer in the "Zoning" section (third section) to add shading that defines Seattle city limits. Enter an address or a neighborhood in the top left field to zero in on the location you are interested in. Click on "Building Outlines" to view specific lots; zoom in to read street names.

View a map showing Seattle's census tracts and zip code areas (PDF)

City assessment of the impact of the PSST Ordinance

As part of the Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance, the Office of the City Auditor is evaluating the ordinance's implementation and early effects. The Office of the City Auditor has contracted with the University of Washington to conduct the evaluation, including a Seattle Employer Survey. For questions or comments about the evaluation study, contact Principal Investigator Jennifer Romich, PhD, at or 206.616.6121.

The City Auditor plans to issue other reports in the coming months, including:

  • U.W. report on in-depth interviews with a small sample of employers.
  • U.W. report on in-depth interviews with a group of employees affected by the regulations.
  • U.W. report on a follow-up survey of the employers who responded to the first/baseline survey.
  • U.W. report on follow-up interviews with a small sample of employers.
  • A report by the Office of the City Auditor on the Seattle Office of Civil Rights' enforcement of the regulations.

The City Auditor also may develop additional reports on specific areas not covered in the U.W. evaluation.

City Auditor: About the PSST Evaluation (PDF)

U.W. report: City of Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Evaluation Project Findings from the Initial Employer Survey

Other report on the impact of paid sick leave and the PSST Ordinance

Main Street Alliance Report, September 2013: Paid Sick Days and the Seattle Economy

How to file a complaint about Paid Sick/Safe Time (PSST)

Taped Webinar on Paid Sick/Safe Time – arranged by Dorsey & Whitmey LLP, featuring SOCR enforcement manager Mike Chin. (Access to the Webinar is free at this external site, but you will be asked to register by name/contact information.)

Webinar – audio file only (registration not required)

To schedule a presentation for your organization: or call 206-684-4500.

Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance – Office of the City Clerk

Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance – PDF version

Administrative Rules for Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance – final version adopted June 29, 2012

Administrative Rules for Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance – PDF version

For more information and technical assistance about the Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance: or call 206-684-4500.


Paid Sick & Safe Time Poster

Paid Sick & Safe Time Brochure

Sample MOU for Collective Bargaining Agreements
Sample negotiated waiver language for bona fide collective bargaining agreements, as described in SMC 14.16.120.

Model Notice: employer letter to employees about the PSST Ordinance
This Word doc is designed to help employers create a letter to inform employees about Seattle's Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance.

Powerpoint presentation on Seattle's Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance (PPT)

Implementing Earned Sick Days Laws: Learning from Seattle's Experience

CLASP has published an article that describes how SOCR implemented Seattle's new Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance, including its rule-making process and outreach campaign to employers and the public. CLASP is an organization that develops and advocates for federal, state and local policies to strengthen families and low income communities. Read the article here.