SEATTLE – The Seattle City Council has voted 8-1 to require businesses to provide paid leave to employees.
The legislation establishes minimum standards for paid sick and safe time based on company size. Workers in companies with 5 to 249 employees will accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick and safe time for every 40 hours worked. Workers in companies with 250 or more employees will accrue a minimum of one hour for every 30 hours worked.
For 23 years, Schultzy's restaurant has been serving up homemade sausage and burgers, with 15 full time and 40 part time workers. Now all of them will get paid time off when they're sick.
"I can guarantee I'll lay off people," said owner Don Schulze. "There will be less people working for me. I want the city council to know they are personally responsible for higher unemployment rate."
“To me, this is no longer a ‘sick leave’ bill, it has become a ‘wellness’ bill. I support this wellness bill and feel positive about how it has evolved,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn issued a statement, saying “Paid Sick Leave levels the playing field in Seattle by supporting public health and economic justice. Seattle residents shouldn’t have to choose between staying home sick and keeping their job.”
The new regulations will take effect on September 1, 2012.