Does the Seattle Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance Apply to Your Business?

All employers with employees working in Seattle, even those who only work in Seattle occasionally, need to read-up on Seattle’s Paid Sick/Safe Time ordinance (PSST for short). If PSST applies to your business, it establishes minimum standards for paid sick leave and safe time for most of your Seattle employees.

These minimum standards do not apply to employers uniformly across the board. Instead, degree of compliance with PSST varies based on a 3-tier system corresponding to an employer’s total number of “full-time equivalent” employees.

This full-time equivalent employees concept can be confusing and calculating the total number is the tricky part. Basically, to arrive at the number of your full-time equivalent employees, factor in all hours worked by employees in a preceding year and divide by the hours amounting to work performed by 1 full-time employee.

I thought it would be helpful to visualize what is meant by full-time equivalent along with basic steps for determining PSST compliance. Please feel free to pass around the cheat sheet below, your feedback is welcomed as well.

Before you examine the cheat sheet below and the subsequent PSST links, there are two crucial pieces of information that I need to clarify.

  1. The term “full-time equivalent employee” does not interchangeably mean or equal “full-time employee“.
  2. PSST only applies to employees working in Seattle while working in Seattle, but to determine compliance an employer must factor in all of its employees even those who work outside of Seattle.

Resources and Additional Information

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