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Paid Sick Leave

Tacoma's Paid Sick Leave will Change in 2018

An amended paid sick leave law will take effect on January 1, 2018. At that time, the City's paid sick leave will match the more generous standards set by State law, including: 

  • Workers will be eligible to use paid sick leave 90 days after hire.
  • Workers will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every forty hours worked with no annual cap on accrual.
  • Workers will be able to carry over up to 40 hours of unused paid sick leave to the following year. 
  • Workers will be able to use all accrued hours for authorized purposes, with no other limits on use.
  • For absences exceeding three days, employers may require documentation, such as a doctor's note, that shows that the leave was used for an authorized purpose.
  • Overtime-exempt employees remain covered in Tacoma.

Learn about upcoming paid sick leave information sessions.


In order to align City law with the State's new paid sick leave requirements, amendments to Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC) Chapter 18.10 “Paid Sick Leave” were adopted on September 26, 2017. Revised rules guiding implementation of the City's paid sick leave law were finalized on December 6 after four public hearings and other opportunities for public comment. 


The City's Current Paid Sick Leave Law

Between February 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017, employers are required to provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave annually to employees working within Tacoma. The leave can be used for temporary time off work for health, safety, or family care needs. Other uses include work or school closures ordered by public officials or for bereavement.


Click on the buttons below to access information specific to your needs:

Who earns paid sick leave?

The Paid Sick Leave Ordinance applies to all employees (full-time, part-time, and temporary) who work within the geographic boundaries of Tacoma for more than 80 hours in a calendar year.

How much is earned?

All employees currently earn one hour for every 40 hours worked within Tacoma. Currently, employees may carry forward up to 24 hours of unused paid sick leave into the next year. In 2018, employees will be permitted to carry over up to 40 hours of unused paid sick leave.

How much can be used each year?

Use will be limited to the number of hours an employee has accrued beginning in 2018. Use of paid sick leave could be limited to 40 hours per year in 2016 and 2017. 


When can employees begin using accrued leave?

Beginning in 2018, employees will be permitted to use their paid sick leave no later than 90 days after hire. In 2016 and 2017, employers could restrict use of paid sick leave until 180 days after the start of employment.   


What if my paid time off benefits exceed these amounts?

The Paid Sick Leave Ordinance sets a minimum employment standard and is not intended to limit or prohibit more generous leave policies.


Printable Paid Sick Leave Posters and Brochures

Access printable workplace notices, brochures and posters on paid sick leave by clicking the button below. New documents will be coming soon to reflect regulations taking effect in 2018.


View Printable Posters and Publications