Category Archives: Paid Sick Days

Washington joins growing list of states with paid sick and safe leave for all — and a better minimum wage!

raise-up-washington-logoWashington has joined the growing number of states to adopt paid sick and safe leave for all workers with approval of Initiative 1433.

Starting in January 2018, everyone working in Washington will be assured at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. An estimated one million workers in the state do not have any paid sick leave now, and others only very limited access. Four Washington cities have previously passed paid sick leave ordinances, Seattle, SeaTac, Tacoma, and Spokane. In those localities, more generous provisions will continue to prevail, including higher accrual levels in large companies in Seattle

Washington’s minimum wage will go to $11.00 on January 1, 2017, rising in three additional steps to $13.50 in 2020. Thereafter, it will rise with inflation as is currently the case. Without the initiative, the state minimum wage would only have risen 6 cents to $9.53 in 2017, not enough to cover basic expenses in any part of the state.

Paid sick leave can be used for health needs of the worker or a family member, or to deal with legal and safety needs arising from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Up to 40 hours can be carried over from year to year, with no other annual cap on annual usage.

The Raise Up Washington Coalition of labor, faith, and community organizations wrote the initiative, collected signatures to qualify for the ballot, and conducted a broad grassroots campaign to assure passage of the initiative.

Original: Economic Opportunity Institute »

Innovative states protecting domestic violence survivors using paid “safe days” – Washington can be next!

value-of-paid-safe-daysKami Reep of Sonoma County, California was let go from work twice last year—not because she wasn’t able to perform her duties as a bookkeeper or because she did her job poorly, but because she needed to take time off when her ex-husband and abuser took two of their three young children from an afterschool program and fled the state.

Reep took three days off from work without pay when her children first went missing. Before she returned to the office, Reep was notified by email that she was being fired because of the situation with her ex-husband and the “added stress.”

“I felt like no one else would hire me,” Reep says.

On Election Day, voters in Washington and Arizona will have the option of supporting ballot initiatives that would allow victims of domestic violence to take paid time off from work, too. If Washington’s I-1433 and Arizona’s Prop 206 passes, domestic violence survivors in those states “wouldn’t have to miss a paycheck or make a decision between going to court or going to work, or fear losing their jobs,” says Kellie MacDonald-Evoy, public policy advocate for the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. The Coalition estimates that about 804,000 women and 454,000 men in Arizona will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

California is among five states (the others are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont) and a dozen localities (including Chicago, Santa Monica, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC) that have already passed “safe time” laws. This chart created by A Better Balance, a national legal advocacy organization that advocates for family-friendly laws and workplace policies, compares state and local laws offering paid sick and safe time.

Read more: Quartz »

You Decide: Will Washington be next to pass paid sick leave?

voteNow YOU get to make the decisions! After all the ads and negativity of this campaign season, now is your chance to vote for healthier families and stronger communities.

Make Washington the 6th state to pass paid sick days: YES on Initiative 1433

Initiative 1433 assures every worker in Washington has the opportunity to earn at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours they work — 6 or 7 days a year if they work full time. It would also raise the state minimum wage in four steps to $13.50 in 2020.

Why It Matters:

  • 1 million people working in Washington don’t get a single day of paid sick leave now. Many of them work in lower wage jobs in restaurants, retail, and caregiving. That means when they have the flu, their child is sick, or their elderly parent has to go to the doctor, they make a choice – sacrifice family and public health or lose that day’s pay.
  • The current minimum wage of $9.47 isn’t enough to cover the basics for even a single person in communities across our state. Over 90% of the lowest wage workers are adults, many with families to support. A higher minimum wage boosts struggling families, and when workers spend more, that helps local businesses and our whole economy.

Visit Raise Up Washington to learn more about Initiative 1433.

Your votes for state legislators will decide progress on Paid Family Leave, Equal Pay, and more! 

It’s a long ballot — don’t give up! Your choice for state legislators will matter on our two BIG priorities for the 2017-18 legislature: Equal Pay and Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Why It Matters:

  • Let’s end the wage gap! Fair pay and equal career opportunities for women benefit workers families and businesses too — and help build a stronger future for communities all across Washington.
  • In states that already have paid family and medical leave programs, new babies and moms are healthier, women earn more a year following childbirth, and new dads take more time with a new baby. Workers are also able to cope with their own health crisis or a seriously ill family member without falling into a financial crisis.

Check out your candidates’ positions on paid family and medical leave here

Vote for an opportunity economy

king-county-ballot-drop-boxYou got your ballot in the mail. Now what? Vote!  Our votes up and down the ballot will help shape our state and nation for decades into the future. Among the many important issues and candidates, Initiative 1433 and the Sound Transit measure allow us to directly boost economic opportunity and vitality in our communities.

Growing income inequality is harming our families and undermining our democracy. In the 1980s, President Reagan and Congress launched a cycle of tax cuts on the wealthy and disinvestment in infrastructure, education, and other basic services that assaulted economic security for millions of working families and still limit our vision of what we can achieve together.

The policies of austerity have allowed the rich to grow fantastically wealthy, while the majority of households struggle, and opportunities for young people remain hemmed in by race, gender, and circumstances of birth.

Initiative 1433 will raise the statewide minimum wage in four steps, beginning with $11.00 in 2017, up to $13.50 in 2020, followed by cost of living adjustments. Washington’s current minimum wage of $9.47 isn’t enough for even a single person to cover the basics in most parts of the state. Over 90% of the lowest wage workers are adults, many with children and families to support.

Without I-1433, minimum wage outside Seattle will rise only 6 cents in 2017 based on general inflation. But rent and other necessities are skyrocketing in communities large and small around the state.

I-1433 also assures every worker in Washington has the opportunity to earn a few days paid sick leave. Seattle, Tacoma, and Spokane have adopted local sick leave laws, but still 1 million peopleworking in Washington – including across south King County – don’t get a single day of sick leave now.

Many of them work in lower wage jobs in restaurants, retail, and caregiving. That means when they have the flu, their child is sick, or their elderly parent has to go to the doctor, they make a choice – sacrifice family and public health or lose that day’s pay, and maybe their job.

Naysayers like to wring their hands and cry job loss every time stronger labor standards are proposed. But their dire predictions just don’t come true. In fact, the past two decades of experienceshow that raising the minimum wage increases incomes for low wage workers and decreases costly turnover. That means working families spend more and businesses spend less on hiring and training new workers.

The family economic stability that results from higher wages and access to sick leave means kids will be healthier and do better in school and in later life. Our whole community benefits from this common sense policy.

Investing in transportation infrastructure also has multiple immediate and lasting benefits. It creates good jobs now, helps grow the middle class, and stimulates economic growth across business sectors. Expanding public transit allows people of all income levels access to a broader range of jobs and schooling.

It reduces pressure on highways so that goods and people who do rely on them move more efficiently, wasting less time and fuel. It’s one of the absolutely necessary investments we need to make to slow and mitigate climate change, which hits low-income families and communities of color the hardest.

Our votes for state legislature and the whole long list of other candidates right on up to President matter, too, in determining the kind of society we will be and the shape of the world we will leave our children and grandchildren. It’s a long ballot, but our mail-in voting system means we can vote in the comfort of our homes, taking the time to consult the voters’ guide, check out endorsements, and do some research on the issues we don’t understand. Don’t wait until November 8 to get started!

Original: South Seattle Emerald »

WA voters, your ballots are coming: check out this podcast on Initiative 1433, a.k.a. Raise Up Washington!

The economic and social benefits of paid sick leave are widespread — but more than 1 million Washingtonians have no access to earning paid sick leave. In this podcast, the team at Civic Skunk Works sits down with Rep. Jessyn Farrell and Bill Marler, a national food safety lawyer and advocate who works with people impacted by dangerous outbreaks (think Chipotle) to discuss why passing Initiative 1433 is critical for Washington families, makes our communities safer from outbreaks and helps our economy.

Listen here »

Of course Hillary Clinton went to work sick. That’s the American way.

hillary-clintonAs Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton demonstrated when she nearly collapsed from the effects of walking pneumonia early this week, the benefits of running for elected office may include many things, but sick days are not among them.

This is perhaps unavoidable in light of the fact that the job of actually being an elected official doesn’t allow for much rest and recuperation, either — see, for instance, John F. Kennedy plowing ahead despitecrippling back pain and Addison’s disease, which he wanted to conceal from the public; and George H.W. Bush ignoring a doctor’s advice in 1992 to stay in bed rather than attend a state dinner in Japan, with the result being that he vomited on the Japanese prime minister. “The president is human,” Bush’s physician told reporters at the time. “He gets sick.”