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Tacoma Sick Leave


“The Ordinance is intended to allow employees to care for themselves and family members, making Tacoma a healthier, more secure, and more productive community”.

Tacoma, WA – The City of Tacoma has passed legislation requiring paid sick leave for all people working in the boundaries of the city. Effective February 1, 2016, The City of Tacoma Paid Leave Ordinance (TMC 18.10) applies to all employees working within the City of Tacoma for 80 hours or more during the calendar year regardless of the company’s own geographical location.

The legislation requires all employers to provide employees with a minimum of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked within the City, up to 24 hours within a year. These hours can be used by the employees beginning on the 180th calendar day after their first day of employment. Furthermore, employees can carry over any unused paid leave hours (up to 24) into the next year, with no more than 40 hours accrued at a time. Of course, employers may offer a paid leave policy that exceeds these minimum requirements.

Employees may use the Paid Leave time for:

  • Mental or physical illness, injury or preventative health care (for either the employee or an employee’s family member)
  • When an employee’s place of employment has been closed by order of a public official or to care for a child whose school has been closed
  • To seek law enforcement, safety, or legal help for domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault (for either the employee or an employee’s family member)
  • For bereavement of a family member

As an employer, you must revise your employee policies and handbooks to reflect these new changes, including the process in which to measure and document the accrued hours. The most challenging aspect of the Paid Leave Ordinance is the tracking of employees. Since the ordinance applies to all employees working within the boundaries of the city, an employee technically begins accruing paid leave hours once they enter the city limits, regardless of the type of work conducted. If they are on the clock and in the City Limits, they accrue hours at a rate of 1 hour for every 40 hours worked. If your company is not located within the City, it is critical to track the time any employee spends working in Tacoma. (This does not apply to drivers passing through the Tacoma)

Lastly, you must have a Notice to Employers and Employees posted where employees can easily access the information at your place of work. You can access that here.

For more information, or if you believe that you have been a subject to a violation of the Paid Leave Ordinance, visit the City of Tacoma’s website here or call directly at 253-591-5306. You can always contact The Integrated Group with any questions on the specifics of the new legislation at or 425-822-8500.


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