Know Your Rights: WA State's new Paid Sick & Safe time off and a rise in the Minimum Wage

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Paid Sick & Safe Days

Beginning January 1, 2018 you have the right to paid time off, free from discipline, if you or a member of your family is sick or if you are the victim of domestic violence. 

  • You can take paid leave if you are ill for a doctor’s appointment OR to care for a sick child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent. You can also take paid leave to cope with the consequences of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking. 
  • You will earn a minimum of 1 hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked, or more if your contract gives more sick time. 
  • You cannot be penalized in any way by your employer for missing work for any reason covered by the law. This includes absence control polices such as occurrence systems that count an absence toward discipline.
  • You have access to your paid leave any day that you miss work for a covered reason, even on the first day. 
  • You are eligible to use paid sick leave after 90 days of employment, or sooner if your contract allows it. 
  • Each year you can carry over up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to your bank the following year.
  • The current time in your contractual sick leave bank (including PTO time) can be used to satisfy the requirements of the law, but that time must meet all the other requirements of the law.
  • You must notify your employer prior to missing a shift as soon as is reasonable under the circumstances. 

If you have any questions about your Paid Sick and Safe Leave rights, speak to a steward or call your Union Representative at 1-800-732-1188.

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Minimum Wage

UFCW members stood up to win better wages in our contracts and on the ballot.

As of January 1, 2018:

The new statewide minimum wage will be $11.50
The new Seattle minimum wage for large employers will be $15

Your contract may have wage escalators that mean you automatically get a raise when the minimum wage goes up. 

Check your contract or talk to your shop steward for details or call your Union Representative at 1-800-732-1188.