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The First City To Guarantee Paid Sick Leave In 2016

January 12, 2016

Think Progress

January 12, 2016

By Bryce Covert

Ahead of tonight’s State of the Union address, Spokane, Washington passed a law guaranteeing residents the right to paid sick leave when they or their family members fall sick, or to deal with sexual assault and domestic abuse.

Last year, President Obama called on Congress to pass national legislation that would guarantee all American workers the right to earn paid sick days, something those who live in all other developed countries are entitled to. But while waiting on Congress for action, Obama also called on cities and states around the country to pass legislation of their own.

Spokane became the latest to heed that call on Monday night. The legislation will require businesses with 10 or fewer employees to allow them to earn up to three paid days off a year, and larger ones to give workers five days. While the mayor has said he will veto it, the bill passed on a six-to-one vote and the council only needs five votes to override him. The bill exempts construction workers, those doing work-study jobs, and seasonal and temporary employees. A survey conducted by the city council found that 28 percent of city residents don’t get paid sick leave, concentrated among those who earn the least.

Read more here.