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Council News Release

9/8/2011  3:47:00 PM
Lisa Herbold, Councilmember Licata's office, 206-684-8803
Nate Van Duzer, Councilmember Burgess' office, 206-684-8806
Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike OBrien

City Council to vote on final paid sick leave legislation
Majority of City Councilmembers agree to new streamlined version

A majority of City Councilmembers announced their support today for an amended version of C.B. 117216, a bill that would provide paid leave to employees in Seattle when they or their family members fall ill or fall victim to domestic violence. An estimated 145,000 to 190,000 employees in Seattle currently do not have access to this benefit.

The new version, coming to a final vote on Monday, September 12, simplifies and clarifies the requirements of the ordinance, making it easier for employers and employees to understand their rights and responsibilities under the proposal. It also calls for a strong independent and objective evaluation of the bills impacts on both employees and employers.

Councilmember Nick Licata, the original sponsor and Chair of Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee, said, This legislation is a model for cities, states, and the nation; it is a practical, strong bill crafted in a collaborative legislative deliberation rather than requiring citizens to go through the initiative process.

The legislation came to the Council after negotiations between advocates for such a policy and representatives of small business.

Its a great day when labor and small business interests can come together to craft a bill that reflects the values of Seattle, said Councilmember Jean Godden, co-sponsor of the legislation.

This legislation is consistent with the Councils desire to protect the most vulnerable in our city; the workers and families lacking access to paid sick and safe leave are often at the bottom of the economic ladder, said Councilmember Tim Burgess. The new version accomplishes this goal and does so in a manner that is fair to employees and employers.

This legislation required a robust discussion with a lot of people and communities, including small and large business and underrepresented communities, said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. We want the best for Seattles workers and the best for the business community -- we needed a win-win for our city.

Councilmember Mike OBrien said, At a time when working people need to be able to keep their jobs and support their families, the paid sick days law is more important than ever.

This bill is about ensuring healthier workplaces by preventing the spread of disease, said Councilmember Sally J. Clark. In the end, this benefits us all.

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