October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Seattle Paid Sick & Safe Time

SAFE TIME: A critical piece of Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Law

The City of Seattle made national headlines in 2011 when the Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance passed. As of September 1, 2012, Seattle workers accrue paid sick and paid safe time (PSST) for use when an employee needs to take time off from work for the employee’s or family member’s illness or a critical safety issue, including domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

It’s a key provision of the law – SAFE TIME – that I want to highlight. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to call attention to the countless lives impacted by domestic violence – both in Seattle and across the U.S.

Seattle’s PSST law provides critical protection for workers who need to take time off work for safety issues.

Under Seattle’s law, safe time can be used for:
  • Reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • Closure of a workplace or a child’s school or place of care by a public official to limit exposure to an infectious agent, biological toxin or hazardous material (e.g. the school superintendent closes public schools due to flu epidemic).

Employees can use their accrued PSST hours for their own safety situation, or in a situation that involves a family member or household member, such as a child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, persons who have a child in common, someone with whom the employee has a dating relationship, and a current or former roommate. You can use accrued PSST hours to make a court appearance, meet with an attorney or counselor, arrange emergency housing, attend a support group, or obtain childcare services for children.

Domestic violence impacts all of us – our families, friends, co-workers, and communities.  It is the leading cause of injury to women.  And men can also be victims.

Let’s recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month and honor survivors of domestic violence.
Please help us raise awareness and spread the word about Seattle’s Safe Time protections for workers and their families:
On October 22 (#PurpleThursday) please join us at the Office of Labor Standards in wearing purple to educate co-workers, friends, and partner organizations about the Safe Time provisions of Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time law, and look out for new informational materials from our office.
Together we can help more workers access the important health and safety protections this law provides.

Dylan Orr, Director
Seattle Office of Labor Standards
Learn More About Paid Sick and Safe Time
The City of Seattle is a national leader on wage, labor and workforce practices that enhance equity. The Office of Labor Standards implements City ordinances on minimum wage (MWO), paid sick and safe time (PSST), use of criminal history in employment decisions (JAO), wage theft (WT) and other laws that the City may enact in the future.
Copyright © 2015 Office of Labor Standards

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