Washington Initiative 1433

On January 1, 2018, Initiative 1433 took effect in the state of Washington. Initiative 1433 offers protections to employees for retaliation for taking allowable paid sick leave. This initiative was approved in 2016 and makes important changes to statewide employment laws. Initiative 1433 also changed the minimum wage and tip law, altered paid sick leave laws, and codified new rates for employees against retaliation by their employers.

What is Washington Initiative 1433?

Washington Initiative 1433 was developed by the Department of Labor and Industry, and created new requirements for minimum wage in the state along with paid sick leave.

  • Minimum wage. Beginning in January of 2027, a minimum wage increase plan took effect. This included an annual increase over three years, culminating in a minimum wage of $13.50 in 2020. The overall goal of the initiative concerning minimum wage rates is that the rate will go above this $13.50 mark in increments calculated annually through a formula tied to inflation.
  • Paid sick leave. Beginning on January 1, 2018, all employers in Washington are required to provide their employees with paid sick leave. The paid sick leave must accrue at a minimum of one hour for every 40 hours worked, which includes part-time and seasonal workers along with full-time employees. Any employee who has worked more than 90 days is entitled to paid sick leave in Washington. Forty hours or less accrued paid sick leave has to be carried over to the following year.

Under Initiative 1433, employees are allowed to use their accrued sick leave to care for themselves or family members, and they can also use it when school closes or childcare is not available and there are no alternatives. Finally, employees can use paid sick leave for absences that fall under the state’s Domestic Violence Leave Act.

Why is This Initiative Important?

Initiative 1433 significantly expanded the rights of workers in Washington. The minimum wage has been brought more in line with the rising costs for workers in Washington. Additionally, paid sick leave has allowed employees more financial leeway when an injury or illness strikes themselves or their family members.

These new changes certainly benefited workers when the COVID-19 pandemic began and spread throughout the state. Previously, workers may not have been able to use paid sick leave if they contracted the virus, but Initiative 1433 was in place to protect employees throughout the state.

What You Can do if You’ve Been Retaliated Against

Just because Initiative 1433 is the law in Washington does not necessarily mean that employees receive fair treatment from their employers. There are times when employers retaliate against workers for using their legally allowed paid sick leave.

If you or somebody you care about has been retaliated against for using paid sick leave, you need to speak to a Seattle workers compensation attorney immediately. An employment law attorney can investigate your claim and help determine the best steps moving forward for your particular situation. You may be entitled to various types of compensation if you have been retaliated against by your employer. This can include coverage of front and back pay, compensation for court costs and legal fees, pain and suffering damages, and more.