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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 29, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Statewide paid sick leave required under bill passed by House

House Democrats passed a bill Wednesday that would require all employers with more than four full-time workers to provide paid sick leave.

House Bill 1313, which now goes to the Senate, would require companies to provide sick leave on a tiered scale. The more people a business employs, the more sick leave it would have to provide.

Small- and medium-sized companies would provide one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Large companies, with 250 or more employees, would provide one hour for every 30 hours worked.

The smallest businesses would be capped at 40 hours of total sick leave. The largest would have a 72-hour cap.

“No working family should be forced to leave a sick child at home or go to work with the flu for fear of losing their paycheck,” Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, the bill’s prime sponsor, said in a statement. “Today’s paid-sick-days bill means they won’t have to.”

It’s unclear, though, if the bill will go anywhere in the Senate. Democrats control the House, while the Senate is controlled by a GOP-led majority. They rarely agree on much.

Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake and  chairwoman of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, was noncommittal about the bill’s prospects. “I have said all along that if these measures reach my committee, I will have a healthy dialogue, I will hold a hearing,” she said.

The Senate has a growing stack of House legislation to consider. The House has passed 22 bills so far this session, with a half dozen of them sponsored by Republicans. None of them have made it to the Senate floor. The Senate has passed three measures.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: paid sick leave


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