Local economists back proposed paid sick days ordinance for Seattle

nick licata headshot

Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata

City Councilmember Licata released the following statement today on a letter received from the state’s leading economists on the merits of paid sick leave legislation:

“Our state’s prominent economists today sent a letter to the City Council supporting the proposed paid sick leave ordinance that I am sponsoring.  The bill promotes healthy work environments by establishing standards for paid sick days, ensuring that employers provide a minimum amount of paid time off for employees to take care of themselves or their sick family members. Seattle’s proposal includes feedback from key stakeholders and business leaders and is infused best practices from Milwaukee, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., cities that have already enacted similar legislation.

“As the letter states, ‘When the City of San Francisco enacted its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO), critics there raised many of the same concerns that lobbyists have raised in Seattle. Four years later, the number of small and large businesses in the city has grown — and growth in the city has been stronger than in the surrounding five counties with no paid sick leave laws.’

“Right now, nearly 40 percent of Seattle’s workers, filling an estimated 190,000 jobs, have no paid sick days. That means many of these workers come to work sick rather than lose their job or a day’s wage – and that puts the public’s health at risk. We must act now to provide paid sick days. This legislation strives to reduce the serious and costly public health threat created by people coming to work sick, reduces employee turnover and replacement costs, and increases employee productivity.”

On Wednesday, August 10, the Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture Committee will discuss and vote on the proposed paid sick leave Ordinance 117216, sponsored by Councilmember Licata. 

Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast and Webcast live on Seattle Channel 21 and on the City Council’s website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook.

Read the full press release here »

About seattlehealthyworkforce

The Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce is a diverse coalition of businesses, faith-based, labor, family, and community groups. We’re working to ensure everyone has paid sick days, so we can all have safer food, healthier families and more productive workplaces.
This entry was posted in Business productivity, In the news, Paid sick days, Policy and research, Testimony and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Local economists back proposed paid sick days ordinance for Seattle

  1. Pingback: Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata’s on economists backing paid sick leave legislation « Washington Policy Watch

  2. Jon Moore says:

    As a small business owner this bill will force struggling businesses out of business. I know have to find more money to cover sick days. You do know where that money comes from when you are talking about small business? It comes from the owners own pay. I personally alrewady cut my pay in half a few years ago instead of laying folks off, no wyou want to take another paycut? So much for trying to live the American dream. Govt regulations are my number 1 issue in my business and I only own a pet supply store.

    • Jon, thank you for your comments. We’ve worked with many small business owners to address their concerns — in fact, they helped write current proposal before the Seattle City Council. Take a look and I think you’ll see there’s a lot of flexibility there for business owners, while still ensuring that workers aren’t faced with the choice of either losing pay or coming to work sick, which isn’t good for public health, business productivity, or people’s well-being. If it passes, Seattle’s ordinance doesn’t take effect for a year, so you’ve got some time to get ready.

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