Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance

Proposed PSST Administrative Rules

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards is proposing revisions to the administrative rules for the Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) ordinance - Chapter 70. Seattle recently amended the PSST ordinance to reflect the more generous provisions of voter-passed, Washington Initiative 1433, which established statewide paid sick leave for hourly employees working in Washington state. The PSST rule revisions modify existing rules, originally issued in 2012, to reflect these ordinance amendments. Members of the public have until May 13, 2018 at 5:00pm PST to comment on the proposed rules.

Proposed PSST Administrative Rules

*The proposed rules for comment (underlined) start on page 1. The current rules (struck through) start on page 20. The proposed rules will replace the current rules once they are finalized.

Please send comments by email to or by regular mail to:

Seattle Office of Labor Standards
810 Third Ave., Suite 375 Seattle, WA  98104-1627
Attn:  Karina Bull, OLS Policy Manager

You can also comment by calling 206-256-5297.

While the proposed rules largely track statewide paid sick leave regulations, when appropriate, OLS has proposed requirements that are more favorable to employees to align with existing PSST rules or policy goals. Key differences between state rules and proposed Seattle rules include:

  •  Payment for using PSST-Employers must include holiday pay and other premium rates when paying employees for PSST.
  • Threshold for coverage of employees who occasionally work in Seattle-Employees who occasionally work in Seattle are covered by the PSST ordinance upon working more than 240 hours in a year in Seattle.
  • Frontloading-Employers may frontload PSST by providing hours in advance of an employee's accrual rate. Employers may not make deductions from an employee's final wages for using PSST that was frontloaded before they would have accrued such hours.
  • Increments of use (Variances)-Employers must permit employees to use PSST in increments of time that are consistent with the employer's payroll system (not to exceed one hour). Seattle will not grant a variance from this requirement or recognize a variance issued by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
  • Written policy (Normal hourly compensation)-Employers must provide employees with a written PSST policy. The policy must state an employee's general right to be paid normal hourly compensation when using PSST (e.g. the hourly rate that an employee would have earned for working the shift). The written policy is not required to state any employee's specific rate of pay.
  • Workplace poster-Employers must display the workplace poster in the specific size created by OLS; the current size is 11" x 17". 

The Proposed PSST Rules Chart provides an overview of proposed PSST Rules that differ from existing state paid sick leave rules.

The PSST ordinance requires employers operating in Seattle to provide all employees with paid leave to care for themselves or a family member with a physical or mental health condition, medical appointment, or a critical safety issue. OLS gathered stakeholder input from employers, employee-advocates, and employees on key issues during a well-attended stakeholder meeting on March 16. OLS appreciates the active participation and valuable feedback from the community. Final rules are scheduled to be released in late May.

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Key Requirements

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

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).

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The Office of Labor Standards has jurisdiction within Seattle city limits

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