Councilmember Nick Licata
Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata's statement on economists backing paid sick leave legislation
Seattle – City Councilmember Licata released the following statement today on a letter received from the state's leading economists on the merits of paid sick leave legislation:
"Our state's prominent economists today sent a letter to the City Council supporting the proposed paid sick leave ordinance that I am sponsoring. The bill promotes healthy work environments by establishing standards for paid sick days, ensuring that employers provide a minimum amount of paid time off for employees to take care of themselves or their sick family members. Seattle's proposal includes feedback from key stakeholders and business leaders and is infused best practices from Milwaukee, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., cities that have already enacted similar legislation.
"As the letter states, 'When the City of San Francisco enacted its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO), critics there raised many of the same concerns that lobbyists have raised in Seattle. Four years later, the number of small and large businesses in the city has grown -- and growth in the city has been stronger than in the surrounding five counties with no paid sick leave laws.'
"Right now, nearly 40 percent of Seattle's workers, filling an estimated 190,000 jobs, have no paid sick days. That means many of these workers come to work sick rather than lose their job or a day's wage – and that puts the public's health at risk. We must act now to provide paid sick days. This legislation strives to reduce the serious and costly public health threat created by people coming to work sick, reduces employee turnover and replacement costs, and increases employee productivity."
On Wednesday, August 10, the Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture Committee will discuss and vote on the proposed paid sick leave Ordinance 117216, sponsored by Councilmember Licata.