Pexels Free to use - see Description;

Washington State Expands Paid Sick Leave Protections

Washington State has enacted Senate Bill 5793, which will be effective January 1, 2025, expanding paid sick leave protections under state law.   The State originally enacted paid sick leave employer requirements in 2018.   Under existing state law, employers must offer at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. 

Employees may use paid sick leave for a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, as well as obtaining a medical diagnosis or preventative medical care.  Employees may also use paid sick leave to care for ailing family members.  The law also authorizes the use of paid sick leave in the event a child’s school is closed for a health-related reason or a governmental agency has declared a state of emergency.

The new law broadens the definition of “family member” to include:

  • roommates
  • close relationships
  • Clarifies that grandchild and grandparent means the employee’s grandchild or grandparent
  • Includes a child’s spouse in the definition of child
  • Includes an individual who depends on the employee for care, and the relationship creates an expectation that the employee will care for the individual or an individual who lives in the employee’s home.

The law does not cover an individual who lives in the same home where there is no expectation that the employee will care for the individual.