Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance

Seattle's Paid Sick and Safe Time requirements cover all employees working in Seattle

Under Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time ordinance, all employees working in Seattle accrue paid leave that can be used for absences due to care of a personal or family member’s health condition or critical safety reason. On September 1, 2012, the initial ordinance went into effect for all employers with more than four full-time equivalents. In December 2017, the ordinance was amended to significantly expand employer coverage and employee rights.

Recent PSST amendments apply the more generous requirements of Washington state paid sick leave (established by voter-passed, Washington Initiative 1433) to both hourly and overtime-exempt employees working in Seattle. These PSST amendments became effective January 14, 2018. Please not that Washington state paid sick leave requirements, applying to employees working in Seattle who are covered by the Washington Minimum Wage Act (RCW 49.46), are effective on January 1, 2018.

Employees can use PSST as follows

  • To care for a personal or family member’s illness, injury or health condition, including preventative appointments
  • To care for a personal or family or household member’s for a reason related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
  • To care for a personal absence when a workplace, or child’s school/place of care, has been closed by order of a public official for health reasons
  • Family member is defined as child of any age, spouse including registered domestic partners, parent and parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, and grandchild

Learn about PSST Amendments (and other 2018 Labor Standards Updates)

Learn about Safe Time


PSST Rates (Accrual/Carry Over) by Employer Size

General Information Small (Tier 1) Employer Medium (Tier 2) Employer Large (Tier 3) Employer
Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) One employee and up to 49 FTEs 50–249 FTEs 250 or more FTEs
Accrual of PSST per hours worked 1 hour per 40 hours 1 hour per 40 hours 1 hour per 30 hours
Carry over of unused PSST
(per year)
40 hours 56 hours 72 hours
*108 hours for employers with PTO

*There is no cap on accrual or use of PSST in a year (i.e. fixed, 12-month period).

Publications and Resources

Questions & Answers (Q&A)

View Publications & Resources

Rules and Ordinances

View Rules & Ordinances

The Office of Labor Standards has jurisdiction within Seattle city limits.

If your situation does not qualify for investigation by us, we will refer you to another agency for help.

Map showing Seattle city boundaries

Questions? Contact Us