BILL REQ. #: H-2965.4
HOUSE BILL 2238
|State of Washington||63rd Legislature||2014 Regular Session|
By Representatives Tarleton, Moscoso, Hunt, Freeman, Ormsby, Pollet, Reykdal, Bergquist, Moeller, Appleton, Goodman, and Walkinshaw
Read first time 01/15/14. Referred to Committee on Labor & Workforce Development.
AN ACT Relating to paid vacation leave; adding a new chapter to
Title 49 RCW; and prescribing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 INTENT. The legislature finds that a
healthy, productive workplace, critical to our state's economy,
requires more than fair wages and less income disparity. Workers at
all income levels need an opportunity for paid time away from work to
rejuvenate and spend time with families. In addition, vacation time
benefits businesses by increasing workplace productivity and morale.
The legislature finds, however, that nationwide only about thirty
percent of low-wage workers have any paid vacation, compared to more
than eighty-five percent of high-wage workers. The United States is
the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers paid
vacation time. Therefore, the legislature intends to improve the
health and quality of life of its workers, family connections, and
workplace productivity by requiring minimum paid vacation leave for
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2 DEFINITIONS. The definitions in this
section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly
(1) "Department" and "director" have the same meaning as in RCW
(2) "Employee" means an individual employed by an employer who
works an average of twenty or more hours per week.
(3) "Employer" means any person, firm, corporation, partnership,
business trust, legal representative, or other business entity which
engages in any business, industry, profession, or activity in this
state which employs twenty-five or more employees for each working day
during each of twenty or more calendar work weeks in the current or
preceding calendar year. "Employer" also means the state, and any unit
of local government including, but not limited to, a county, city,
town, municipal corporation, quasi-municipal corporation, or political
subdivision, that employs twenty-five or more employees for each
working day during each of twenty or more calendar work weeks in the
current or preceding calendar year.
(4) "Vacation leave" means paid leave from work for vacation,
personal holiday, or any other purpose.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3 ACCRUAL OF LEAVE. (1) An employee is not
entitled to accrue vacation leave until the employee has worked for the
employer for six months.
(2) After the initial six-month period, an employee is entitled to
accrue leave while the employee works for the employer, as follows:
(a) Forty hours for the twelve-month period following the initial
(b) Sixty hours for the twelve-month period beginning with the
eighteenth month of employment;
(c) Eighty hours for each twelve-month period beginning after the
thirtieth month of employment; and
(d) One hundred twenty hours for each twelve-month period beginning
after the sixtieth month of employment.
(3) Leave accrues to an employee on a pro rata basis at each pay
period as the employee renders services to the employer.
(4) Leave accrues for an employee who works less than forty hours
per week on a pro rata basis.
(5) An employer with a combined or universal paid leave policy,
including but not limited to a paid time off policy, complies with this
section if the policy specifically identifies at least as much leave as
required by this section as leave for vacation.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4 REQUESTS FOR LEAVE. An employee's right to
use accrued leave at a particular time, including requests for and
approval of leave, is determined by employer policy.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5 COMPENSATION. An employer must compensate
an employee who uses vacation leave at the same pay and with the same
benefits, including employer-provided health care benefits, as the
employee would have earned during the time leave is taken.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6 RECORDKEEPING. An employer shall provide
current information to each employee on the employee's accrued amount
of vacation leave. An employer may use any system, including a
notification on pay stubs or online system, that provides employees
with information about their vacation leave.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7 ENFORCEMENT. (1) Upon complaint by an
employee, the director may investigate to determine if there has been
compliance with section 3 of this act and the rules adopted to
implement section 3 of this act.
(2) If the director determines that a violation has occurred, the
director must issue a notice of infraction and may order the employer
to comply with section 3 of this act, including to credit the employee
with accrued leave. The director may also order an employer found to
have committed an infraction to pay: (a) A civil penalty of five
hundred dollars for a first violation and one thousand dollars for a
subsequent violation; and (b) compensation to the department for the
costs of investigating and remedying the violation.
(3) Appeal from the director's decision is governed by chapter
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8 MORE GENEROUS POLICIES. This chapter
provides minimum vacation leave requirements and is not intended to
discourage and does not prohibit an employer from adopting or retaining
a leave policy more generous than any policies that comply with this
chapter, or as diminishing the obligation of any employer to comply
with any contract, collective bargaining agreement, employment benefit
plan, or other agreement providing more generous vacation leave than
required under this chapter.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 9 RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAWS. This chapter
does not preempt, limit, or otherwise affect the applicability of any
other law, regulation, rule, requirement, policy, or standard,
including any law or ordinance of a local government, that provides for
greater accrual by employees of paid vacation leave or other leave, or
extends other protections to employees.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 10 WAIVER/COLLECTIVE BARGAINING. (1) The
requirements of this chapter do not apply to any employees covered by
a bona fide collective bargaining agreement to the extent that the
requirements are expressly waived in the collective bargaining
agreement in clear and unambiguous terms.
(2) Any waiver by an employee of any requirements of this chapter
is contrary to public policy and is void and unenforceable.
(3) This chapter may not be construed to impair any provision of a
collective bargaining agreement in effect on the effective date of this
NEW SECTION. Sec. 11 NOTICE. (1) An employer must give notice
to employees regarding this chapter. An employer may comply by
providing the information on a notice to each employee or on a poster
displayed in a conspicuous place on the premises of the employer where
notices to employees and applicants are customarily posted. The notice
must be in English and in any language that is the first language
spoken by at least five percent of the employer's workforce.
(2) The department shall include notice regarding this chapter in
the next reprinting of employment posters.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 12 STUDY. (1) The Washington state institute
for public policy shall evaluate the impact of this chapter on the
economy of this state and the health and well-being of employees. The
evaluation shall include a survey of employers and employees. In
addition, the institute shall study the feasibility of the department
or another state agency offering a commercial, nonproprietary online
system for employers and employees to track vacation leave. The
department shall cooperate with the institute.
(2) The institute shall report to the appropriate committees of the
legislature by December 1, 2016, on its evaluation regarding the impact
of this chapter and recommendations regarding an online system to track
NEW SECTION. Sec. 13 RULES. The department may adopt rules to
implement this chapter.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 14 SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this act
or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other
persons or circumstances is not affected.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 15 Sections 1 through 13 of this act
constitute a new chapter in Title 49 RCW.--- END ---