News & Press: Employment Law

Spokane City Council approves sick leave ordinance. Employers required to give workers up to 5 days

Tuesday, January 12, 2016   (0 Comments)

As we have been following the movement of this Ordinance, the Spokane City Council took action last night on Earned Sick and Safe Leave passing the Ordinance with a 6-1 vote. The Ordinance now goes to Mayor Condon for his signature or veto. At this time, we can’t speak to specific provisions as we are still waiting for the final version to be passed by the necessary government branches.


Last night, Associated Industries in-house legal counsel Shaun Greer gave public comment on the proposed ordinance. While Associated Industries does not take a position on the provision of paid sick leave and believes all workers should be treated with fairness, we did take the opportunity to voice our concerns with the law as it is written. In the brief time we had, Associated Industries wanted to draw the Council’s attention to these key issues:


• Area businesses are already struggling to keep up with constantly changing compliance requirements on both the state and federal levels. This now adds yet another layer of regulation.

• The proposed ordinance lacks an enforcement section, leaving that to be determined by the Council at a later date. This provides no guidance for employers looking to comply and avoid severe penalties and fines.

• While the Ordinance alleges to permit employers presently providing a like or greater benefit to continue to do so, most if not all employers will be impacted by the minimum accrual rate.

• All employers seeking issuance or reissuance of a license must certify their compliance with this ordinance in order to have their business licenses renewed.


The proposed effective date of the law is some time in the early part of 2017. Associated Industries will keep a close eye on all updates in order to best serve our member companies.


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