Paid Sick and Safe Time

Ordinance: SMC 14.16  Rules: SHRR Chapter 70

Paid Sick and Safe Time Comprehensive Q & A 

Paid Sick & Safe Time Fact Sheet

Paid Sick & Safe Time Flier

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Resources

Important Notice

Looking for information about Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time?  Please visit the COVID-19 Gig Worker Protection Page.

Seattle's Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance went into effect on September 1, 2012.  

This law requires employers to provide employees who work in Seattle with paid leave:

  • To care for themselves or a family member for a physical or mental health condition, including a doctor appointment
  • To care for themselves, a family member, or a household member for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
  • When their family member's school or place of care has been closed
  • When their place of business has been closed by order of a public official for health reasons
  • For employers of businesses with 250+ FTEs, when their place of business has been closed for any health or safety reason.  

PSST Rates by Employer Size

  Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
(FTEs) Worldwide
1 employee
and up to 
49 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
of Unused
PSST per Year
40 hours 56 hours 72 hours
*108 hours
for employers
with PTO

Changes to this Law: The City amended this law on July 1, 2018 to reflect the more employee-protective provisions of voter-passed, Washington Initiative 1433. In March 2020, Seattle amended this law to expand the types of absences for which an employee can use PSST. Prior to the March 2020 amendments, employees could use PSST when their child's place of care or school was closed due to the order of a public health official for a health-related reason. Now an employee may use PSST if any family member's place of care or school is closed. Also, the law no longer requires that the closure be for a health-related reason or that a public official order the closure. These amendments also now require an employer with 250 or more full-time equivalent employees to allow their employees to take PSST when their place of business has been closed for any health or safety reason.

Annual Workplace Poster and Other Resources:
OLS provides multiple resources on this law, including: a Model Employer Policy, a Policy Check List, a Pay Stub Guide for Workers, Fact Sheet, Questions & Answers, and Annual Workplace Poster. The most updated resources can found for download on this page or on our Resources page.  Many resources, including the Annual Workplace poster, are also available in Spanish and multiple other languages on the Language Access pages.

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The Office of Labor Standards enforces Seattle’s labor standards ordinances to protect workers and educate employers on their responsibilities.