Kevin Hoult is a wonderful resource we have in our community. If you have a small business or are thinking of starting something, Kevin is the guy that can help! He recently was the speaker at a Forks Chamber meeting and spoke on Initiative I-1433, if you didn’t make the meeting, because you were busy running your business, he shared this recap of his presentation. Kevin has an office in Forks and his service is Free.
— Christi Baron, Editor
Voter’s Initiative I-1433, also known as the minimum wage initiative, brought significant changes to our workplaces this year.
First, there’s a minimum wage increase because on Jan. 1, the minimum wage increased from $11.00 to $11.50.
Minimum wage will increase again next year by $0.50, making the minimum wage for 2019 $12.00 an hour. In 2020, minimum wage will make a $1.50 jump to $13.50. In 2021, minimum wage will be tied to inflation and adjusted annually by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
This year, there’s also Paid Sick Leave for all employees in Washington State, starting in 2018 as provided for by Voter’s Initiative I-1433
This means employers have three new requirements that started on Jan. 1 of this year: Notify, comply and verify.
First, employers must notify all employees of their entitlement of this new benefit. Like most human resources compliance matters, notification is best done in writing and confirmed by employee signature.
Next, employers must comply with the requirement to have a written sick leave policy and to accrue to each employee one hour of Paid Sick Leave time for every 40 hours worked. Paid Sick Leave time is accrued at the standard rate and only for hours worked, meaning that while overtime is paid at 1.5 times the hourly rate, sick leave accrual only accumulates at 1.0 times the hours worked during overtime, holiday or other enhanced pay periods.
Sick leave only accrues during actual hours actually worked, so paid holidays, paid personal days and similar non-working paid hours do not accrue Paid Sick Leave.
Finally, employers must verify the sick leave accrued, used and remaining for each employee at the end of each pay period. This means employers will need to accrual tracking and reporting to their current payroll record keeping system.
Unlike the Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”), there is no exclusion for employers with fewer than a certain number of employees and no minimum weekly hourly requirement in order for employees to qualify for Paid Sick Leave. An employer with one employee that works one hour per month is still required to notify, comply and verify Paid Sick Leave.
Conversely, very much like the Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”), some existing sick leave policies employers already have in place might not meet the specific requirements of I-1433 Paid Sick Leave.
For more information about Washington State’s new Paid Sick Leave, visit the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries website at www.lni.wa.gov.
To take a look at how these new costs will impact your business, call Kevin with your WSU Small Business Development Center at 360-865-4938, or email [email protected], to schedule some free and confidential review and planning sessions.
Kevin Hoult, MBA
Certified Business Adviser
North Peninsula SBDC
338 W. First Street, Suite 105
Port Angeles WA 98362