Complying With Washington-Specific State or Local Employment Laws

Complying With Washington-Specific State or Local Employment Laws

At the state and local levels, Washington lawmakers have been busy in recent years adopting statutes, ordinances and regulations that create specialized obligations for employers. Seattle employment attorney Karen Kruse stays current on these developments and has devoted substantial effort to creating and maintaining generic tools to use in employer compliance counseling. Many of these laws are highly detailed and require individual employee notices, employer policies, and specific types of records — in addition to imposing substantive obligations.

Depending on where your employees work and other coverage provisions, you may need policies and procedures for complying with these Washington‑specific laws:

Washington State

  • Pregnancy Related Disability Leave — regardless of FMLA coverage
  • Family Care Act (liberalizing employees' right to use their paid time off)
  • Domestic Violence Leave
  • Military Family Leave
  • Paid Sick Leave (starting January 1, 2018)
  • Paid Family Leave (starting in 2020)

City of Seattle

  • Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (since September 1, 2012)
  • Minimum Wage Ordinance
  • "Wage Theft" Ordinance (requiring written notices to employees about their compensation)
  • "Fair Chance" Ordinance (Seattle's "Ban the Box" legislation, limiting criminal history inquiries)
  • Secure Scheduling Ordinance (for certain large restaurant and retail employers — requires advance notice of schedules, and places limits on schedule changes)

City of Sea‑Tac

  • Ordinance Setting Minimum Employment Standards for Hospitality and Transportation Industry Employers (minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements)

City of Tacoma

  • Minimum Wage Ordinance (since February 1, 2016)
  • Paid Leave Ordinance (for paid sick and safe time off)

City of Spokane

  • Earned Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance (since January 1, 2017 — requires paid leave, and will be superseded when statewide paid sick leave takes effect)

For More Information

Karen Kruse Law can offer compliance assistance with the above state and local laws, typically on a flat‑fee basis. KKL also can represent employers who are being audited by a Washington state or local enforcement agency, or who have received notice of a claimed violation. Please contact KKL to discuss your needs and how we can assist.