Recent Paid Leave Laws Are Being Scrutinized

Recent Paid Leave Laws Are Being Scrutinized

New paid leave laws have been recently passed in the states of Washington, Arizona and the District of Columbia. However, these laws have also become the subject of scrutiny, with new developments occurring regularly. Below are some things that employers based in these states should know.


The Department of Labor in this state, in preparation for the new law which will go into effect in January 2018, has established the 1433 Site to provide the public with guidance as it mandates the two rule sets which will be used to describe and enforce the new law. 1433 is an initiative which received approval in 2016 that requires businesses to give paid sick time to the majority of their workers. It also increases the minimum wage automatically for a number of years consecutively.

Those employed in the state of Washington are expected to gain one hour of paid sick time for each forty hours they work, which gives them time to take care of themselves and members of their family. Public hearings for the first group of rules, which pertain to reporting requirements, notification procedures and the management of records, were held in August. Various businesses in Washington are opposed to this measure and have begun protesting it.


The Chamber of Commerce in Arizona has challenged the requirement that businesses based in the state give employees a minimum of three days of paid sick time which went into effect in July of 2017, which resulted from a measure that was approved by voters. The constitutionality of the law has been challenged, to the extent that business owners and the Chamber of Commerce filed suit to block implementation, stating that it is a violation of state law. Their argument is that the ruling is a violation since it mandates the state to use funds without specifying a source of revenue.

District of Columbia

Washington D.C. passed its Universal Paid Leave Act in 2015, which went into effect in April of 2017 and is expected to be funded completely by the fiscal budget for 2018. Regardless, a minimum of five repeal measures are now being reviewed by the D.C. council, particularly the UPLA Amendment Act, which was revealed on June 20th. This measure focuses on alternative ways of establishing paid leave, such as lower payroll taxes for small businesses and employer mandate for larger businesses, or exempting those employers who already give paid leave to their employees.

The UPLA is expected to be funded through at payroll tax of 0.62 percent that employers will pay into a pool which is administered through the government of the District of Columbia, which will distribute the benefits to employees working in the area. The duration of sick leave remains the same, which is 8 weeks for parents who have recently had a child and six weeks to provide care to sick relatives.