With an 8-1 vote, the Seattle City Council passed a landmark ordinance to ensure workers in all but the city’s smallest businesses can earn paid sick days on the job – one of the strongest such policies in the nation. The Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, comprised of over 100 local organizations and small businesses that pushed for the measure, lauded the vote.
Reflecting broad public support for the measure, Councilmembers received thousands of emails, postcards and phone calls in favor; a recent poll of Seattle voters found 69% supported the legislation passed today.
Many local small business leaders helped craft provisions of the final ordinance.
Following Mayor McGinn’s expected signature in the coming weeks, Seattle will be the 3rd city in the nation with a minimum paid sick days standard, after Washington DC and San Francisco. The state of Connecticut passed a paid sick days bill in June, and voters in Denver will consider a paid sick days ballot measure this fall.
A recent report by the Economic Opportunity Institute estimated that nearly 190,000 people working in Seattle do not earn paid sick days – negatively impacting the local economy and business productivity.
Adapted from an article in Washington Policy Review published by Economic Opportunity Institute.