2018 ~the New Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Requirements ~ more updates

Paid Sick Leave& Changes to the state minimum wage …

first posted 12/2017

The initiative I1433 sets future minimum wage rates

The initiative contains important language regarding tips and service charges

The initiative states that an employer must pay to its employees:

  • All tips and gratuities; and
  • All service charges as defined under RCW 49.46.160 (app.leg.wa.gov), except those that are itemized as not being payable to the employee or employees servicing the customer.
  • Tips and service charges paid to an employee may not offset the state minimum wage requirement.

Paid sick leave requirements

Starting January 1, 2018, employers in Washington will be required to provide their employees with paid sick leave.


  • Paid sick leave must accrue at a minimum rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. This includes part-time and seasonal workers.
  • Paid sick leave must be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation.
  • Employees are entitled to use accrued paid sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after the start of their employment.
  • Unused paid sick leave of 40 hours or less must be carried over to the following year.
  • Employers are allowed to provide employees with more generous carry over and accrual policies.


  • Employees may use paid sick leave:
    • To care for themselves or a family member.
    • When the employees’ workplace or their child’s school or place of care has been closed by a public official for any health-related reason.
    • For absences that qualify for leave under the state’s Domestic Violence Leave Act.
  • Employers may allow employees to use paid sick leave for additional purposes.

New Rules & Changes ~ All updates for this rule 3/2018

Executive Administrative Professional (EAP) exemptions (Chapter 296-128 WAC, Minimum Wages)

Chapter 296-128, WAC

All updates for this rule:

The purpose of this rulemaking is to update Chapter 296-128 WAC, Minimum Wages, regarding exemptions for employees working in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity, or in the capacity of an outside salesperson. Most employees covered by the Washington Minimum Wage Act must be provided a minimum wage, overtime for working above forty hours in a seven-day workweek, and paid sick leave. The Minimum Wage Act exempts some workers from these requirements. RCW 49.46.010(3)(c) exempts any individual “employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity or in the capacity of outside salesperson as those terms are defined and delimited by rules of the director [of the department of Labor & Industries].” The department promulgated rules in 1976 for the executive, administrative, professional, and outside salesperson exemptions, defining salary thresholds and duties tests for an employee to be considered exempt from the Minimum Wage Act under RCW 49.46.010(3)(c). The department later promulgated an additional professional computer employees exemption, WAC 296-128-535, and other clarifying rules in WAC 296-128, which could be subject to revisions during this rulemaking. These exemption rules have been largely untouched since 1976, and currently exempt more workers than originally intended. Updating the rules would restore appropriate function to the exemption rules.

3/20/2018 PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

Enforcement for Paid Sick Leave and Retaliation (Initiative 1433) (Chapter 269-128 WAC, Minimum wages)

The purpose of this rulemaking is to adopt rules pertaining to the enforcement directives related to the implementation of Initiative 1433, An Act Related to Fair Labor Standard. Initiative 1433 passed on November 8, 2016, and requires, in part, employers provide paid sick leave to employees beginning on January 1, 2018. Initiative 1433 directs the Department to adopt and implement rules to carry out and enforce the act. The changes were adopted 12/19/2017 and became effective on 1/1/2018.

1/1/2018 Rule Changes Effective
12/19/2017 PDF: Adoption (Rule-Making Order CR-103)

PDF: Adopted Rule Language

PDF: Response to Public Comments (CES)

11/17/2017 Comments Due
11/9/2017 Public Hearing
11/8/2017 Public Hearing
10/3/2017 PDF: Proposed Rulemaking (CR 102)

PDF: Proposed Rule Language

7/5/2017 PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

Minimum Wage Act and Initiative 1433 (Chapter 296-128 WAC, Minimum Wages)

The purpose of this rulemaking is to implement, carry out, and enforce Initiative 1433, An Act Relating to Fair Labor Standards, which requires employers provide paid sick leave to employees. These rules: – Set parameters for the directives in Chapter 49.46 RCW; and – Create definitions and descriptions for paid sick leave pertaining to: written policies, accrual, usage, variance from required increments of use, reasonable notice, verification for absences exceeding three days, rate of pay, payment of paid sick leave, separation and reinstatement of accrued paid sick leave upon rehire, paid time off (PTO) programs, shared leave, shift swapping, frontloading, third party administrators, employee use of paid sick leave for unauthorized purposes, employer notification and reporting to employees, and retaliation. In addition to the paid sick leave proposed rules, amendments are being made to rules updating outdated language concerning people with disabilities to “People-first” language. Enforcement of the retaliation and enforcement directives related to the implementation of Initiative 1433 are being addressed in a separate rulemaking. The department will be working with employee and employer representative to perform outreach about the new rules. An online employer resource center is being developed to assist employers in learning about their new requirements, to provide guidance on employee notification and sample policies, etc. This rulemaking’s effective date is January 1, 2018, the effective date of the paid sick leave provisions of Initiative 1433. The changes were adopted 10/17/2017 and became effective on 1/1/2018.

1/1/2018 Rule Changes Effective
10/17/2017 PDF: Adoption (Rule-Making Order CR-103)

PDF: Adopted Rule Language

PDF: Final Cost Benefit Analysis

PDF: Response to Public Comments (CES)

PDF: Revised Small Business Economic Impact Statement (SBEIS)

9/1/2017 Comments Due
8/29/2017 Public Hearing
8/17/2017 Public Hearing
8/16/2017 Public Hearing
8/8/2017 Public Hearing
7/5/2017 PDF: Proposed Rulemaking (CR 102)

PDF: Proposed Rule Language

PDF: Small Business Economic Impact Statement (SBEIS)

PDF: Preliminary Cost Benefit Analysis

1/4/2017 PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

This Friday — End Trump’s child abuse ring ` Emma Ruby-Sachs – Avaaz

It takes a special kind of monster to tear a screaming baby away from a mother and send both off to separate detention centers, but that’s what immigration officials are doing RIGHT NOW on the US border.

It’s painful to even imagine their suffering — but now we have a powerful opportunity to help end this horror.

This coming Friday, people across the country will be coming together in our cities demanding congress stop Trump’s child abuse ring.There are already events in several cities to join, and Avaazers can help start new ones in cities that still don’t have an event.

Here’s the Facebook link with more details. 

Once we RSVP to an event, let’s then make sure to invite our State Representatives to attend too. Hundreds of invitations through messages and phone calls will light a flame under their feet and force them to respond and help put an end to this madness.

Here’s the link to find your rep to invite them to the demonstration, and below are some simple talking points to help you:

  • I’m against Trump’s inhumane immigration policy which rips children away from their parents.
  • As your constituent I implore you to take immediate action to stop this shameful policy. Your support for it, or inaction to stop it, is a red stain on your legacy as [STATE’S] representative.
  • I urge you to join our demonstration on Friday at [EVENT DETAILS]. By attending and responding to this horror, you will show your voters where you stand on this issue.

More information: 
It’s as bad as it gets — immigrant children left in dog-like cages with nothing but gym mats and thin blankets, prison buses filled with row upon row of baby car seats, and over 1400 kids actually lost by the government that took them into custody! 

But it didn’t used to be this way. There was a special agency that dealt with families humanely. Then Trump decided that forcing mothers to lose their children would be a good deterrent for people fleeing violence at home. So he promoted it, pushed it further and turned national border security into a massive child torture ring. 

We’ve seen the power such rapid response demonstrations have on the media narrative around Trump’s harmful policies — from showing up at airports to protest the travel ban to marching with students to stop gun violence. Now we can do it again to stop this heartless immigration policy. 

Here’s the Facebook link again — click to join an event then invite friends and family to join too!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1699977733433750/There are some news stories you read that stick with you, that are stuff made of nightmares. This is one of those, no doubt. But it’s a nightmare we can end by coming together now before another child loses their family forever.With hope,

Emma, Rewan, Andrew, Nate and the entire Avaaz team

More information:

As ICE separates children from parents at the border, public outrage grows (Think Progress)

Hundreds of Immigrant Children Have Been Taken From Parents at U.S. Border (The New York Times)

The U.S. lost track of 1,475 immigrant children last year. Here’s why people are outraged now. (The Washington Post)

Separating children and parents at the border is cruel and unnecessary (LA Times)

we’re asking L&I to eliminate misleading minimum wage surcharges

We are Working Washington

Misleading minimum wage surcharges could soon be a thing of the past. Working Washington has sent an official request to the State Department of Labor & Industries calling on the agency to establish rules that would effectively eliminate misleading surcharges which pose as taxes or claim to go towards wages.


min wage service charge
Despite what it says on these receipts, there is no such thing as the “Seattle Fair Wage Act” or a “WA Min Wage Fee.”

Paying the minimum wage is a basic cost of doing business, not an extra add-on to be counted separately. If there’s no line item for the rent and no napkin-laundering charge called out, then there’s no good reason to tack on an extra few percent and attribute it to the minimum wage — unless you’re trying to send a political message about opposition to raising the wage, that is.

For more than a year, we’ve collected examples of misleading minimum surcharges from across the state. We’ve asked businesses to eliminate these charges. We’ve published a list. We’ve gone to the press. And more.

We’ve had success turning back many of these charges — but others are still out there. (For example, the two pictured above.)

So now we’re taking the next step. We sent a letter to L&I asking them to use their authority under the law to clarify that:

  • Service charges can never pose as taxes or government-mandated fees.
  • Any surcharges that include the word “wage” or similar language are forbidden, because they will invariably be interpreted as intended to count towards employees’ wages, and that would be illegal under state law.
  • Workers must be made whole for service charges which inappropriately were counted towards wage obligations, as this is effectively wage theft.

Taken together, these three rules would effectively eliminate misleading minimum wage surcharges. That’s why we’re asking you to add your name in support.

After you add your name, we’ll deliver your signatures to L&I — and we’ll let you know how they respond.

Thanks. Let’s do this!

Sage, Working Washington

P.S. You can read our complete letter to L&I here.