Seattle Businesses can provide their employees with a multitude of different options for paid and unpaid time off as a benefit of their continued employment. The structure of these benefit plans have usually been in the discretion of the employer, but the Seattle Sick Time and Sick Leave Act has made the accumulation of paid sick time off mandatory. Seattle businesses are required to reconcile their current paid time off practices with the mandatory sick leave or face the possibility of administrative fines from the City and civil liability from their employees.

If a business tries to reconcile its time off policies it’s important for them to remember that the end result cannot be more restrictive than what is offered under the Seattle Sick Time and Sick Leave Act. Even if the business offers more time off as part of their paid time off program, the plans do not reconcile or combine if the PTO cannot be used at the same rate for the same reasons.

This does not mean that it is impossible to reconcile and combine a PTO policy with the Seattle Sick Leave and Sick Time Act. If an employer already uses, or later creates, a PTO policy that is equal to or less restrictive than the Seattle Sick Time and Sick Leave Act there is no need to administer two separate plans. This means that an employer can combine an employee’s vacation and sick time into one plan if it provides an amount of time, rate of accrual and carry over limit from year to year that is equal to or greater than what is required under the Seattle Sick Time and Sick Leave Act. In addition, the employer must apply the same record keeping policies required to the Seattle Sick Time and Sick Leave act to their new combined plan.

If the reconciliation of the PTO plan and the sick time requirements is done successfully than the employer will have only one universal paid time off plan to track and will not have to bear the cost of administering multiple plans.  Employers in Seattle should consult with an attorney before they attempt to reconcile their mandatory and compulsory paid time off plans.

This blog is provided for informational purposes only and not in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state. Transmission of the information contained therein is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The content of this blog may or may not reflect the most current legal developments and any individual’s personal circumstances